This September, our /amo network rebranded as H/Advisors, reflecting its new organization and global ambition after tremendous global growth over the last 4 years.
To learn more about the rebranding and the future of H/Advisors, we spoke to Stéphane Fouks, Executive Chairman of H/Advisors.
Why has /amo rebranded as H/Advisors? Which agencies are involved in the rebranding?
As an advisor to many of the world’s largest blue-chip companies, we have a unique vantage point in identifying and understanding what’s really at stake for our clients’ futures. We work hand-in-hand with the top executives at these companies, and over the years we have developed deep relationships of trust with them.
The new branding of H/Advisors reflects the unique role that we play for our clients as their strategic advisors, a role that has become more apparent in the 21 years since /amo was founded. Back in 2001, we were primarily communications consultants. Today, we deliver counsel, and we also have a full toolkit of skills so we can implement the counsel we provide. That means we deliver value for our clients across a wide range of practices, including corporate transactions, transformation, reputation, public policy, ESG, blockchain and crisis management.
What is H/Advisors’ international footprint?
Rebranding to H/Advisors underlines how we have developed from a transatlantic club of like-minded agencies to the truly global, integrated network we are today.
H/Advisors is an impressive machine. We have 12 partner agencies and five affiliate agencies, representing 1,400 consultants in 35 cities in more than 20 countries. That includes offices in all the world’s major financial centers across five continents.
An important thing to know about H/Advisors is that we remain true to our founding principle that we first developed back in 2001 with the heads of our New York agency Abernathy MacGregor and Maitland in London. We decided then that we would only invite agencies into our network that we considered to be best-in-class in their domestic market. This “bottom-up” approach that we have adhered to ever since is the opposite of how many international networks have grown, top-down, by sending someone out from head office to grow a local business.
That’s why we consider H/Advisors unrivalled as a strategic advisory network in terms of local knowledge and global reach.
What is the management structure of H/Advisors?
Earlier this year, we put in place a new centralized management structure to steer H/Advisors in the next stage of the ambitious growth plan we agreed with Yannick Bolloré in 2018. I have taken on the role of executive chairman, and I have two co-CEOs reporting to me, Neil Bennett, who also runs Maitland in London, and Tom Johnson, who runs Abernathy MacGregor in the US. We also appointed Jeremy Dorling in London as our new CFO. And we have a board in place that includes the heads of all 12 member agencies, 8 of which are Havas-owned, and four independent.
How has H/Advisors grown in recent years?
In 2018, Yannick gave us the go-ahead to push forward with an ambitious €100 million growth plan. We have delivered very decisively on that plan since then, with major acquisitions of top-notch strategic consultancies and teams in the US, UK, Germany, Brussels, Spain and Singapore. These acquisitions, which have integrated very smoothly into the H/Advisors network and Havas Group, have allowed us to extend our geographic footprint and, even more importantly, developed a whole new range of practices that are essential to our vision of providing strategic counsel and the means to implement our advice. So, for example, we now have a very strong public affairs offering, with teams operating together as an integrated task force in Washington D.C., Brussels for the EU, Paris, Berlin, London and more.
Another good example of how we have extended the skills we provide is our Transformation team. That’s another of our key task forces that brings together experienced internal communications experts in Germany, France, the UK, and the US to share their know-how and tangible client leads to grow that business across the network.
What are H/Advisors’ ambitions for the next chapter in its history?
We are very excited about the future. We now have an efficient and experienced management team, leading an exceptionally powerful international group of consultants, working for an impressive base of shared clients, and operating under a strong, clear new brand identity. What’s more, we have the unwavering support of Havas and Vivendi, all of which puts us firmly on track to achieve our goal of making H/Advisors the undisputed leader in global strategic communications worldwide.