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Holmes Report names EMEA Specialist Consultancies of The Year

18 March 2013

MSLGroup, Llorente & Cuenca, Pagefield and Portland all picked up awards at the Holmes Report EMEA Specialist Consultancy of the Year Award with Ketchum picking up the EMEA Consultancy category.

Having been awarded Corporate Consultancy of the Year, the MSLGroup is said to have quietly pulled together "one of the most formidable corporate capabilities" in the EMEA region. The firms in the Group include Publicis Consultants in Paris, JKL in the Nordic region, financial communications specialist Ciszewski, and Capital MSL in the UK and the Middle East, all providing "an impressive range" of financial communications and corporate and public affairs counsel. In 2012 the Group acquired Germany’s CNC, which brought one of the region’s "best boutique strategic communications firms" under the MSL umbrella.

Financial Consultancy of the Year went to Llorente & Cuenca, one of the biggest independent public relations firms in Spain. The agency has offices in Madrid and Barcelona; a significant presence in Portugal; and a network of operations in key cities throughout Latin America that have helped it withstand the downturn in its domestic market.

Portland picked up Public Affairs Consultancy of the Year. After "eye-catching growth" in 2011, the firm’s sale to Omnicom Group early last year did not slow its stride, with new business arriving from BAE Systems, Barclays, Grant Thornton and Nestle, the last of which was the UK mandate for the food giant’s entire corporate PR account. Portland’s work also stood out, particularly its global campaign for the 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, and its crisis support for Barclays at the height of the interest rate rigging scandal.

New Consultancy of the Year went to Pagefield. Founded in late 2010, Pagefield prevails over a strong field thanks to stellar growth, taking the new firm to £3m fee income in a little over two years. The Holmes Report said Pagefield founders Mark Gallagher and Sara Price are demonstrating a refreshing willingness to disrupt the agency landscape, which has seen the in-house veterans set out to build a firm that reflects their strong views on how today's PR agency should operate.

Ketchum took the EMEA Consultancy of the Year award. In 2012, the agency took in fee income of more than $150 million – around 40% of its global total – and completed its restructuring followed by the merger of Ketchum and Pleon. New business came in from brands including Gucci, Hertz, Nissan, Porsche and UBS.