Kirshenbaum to Expand West

By Teresa Andreoli and Teresa Buyikian

NEW YORK–Either through acquisition or spinoff, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners plans to open in San Francisco.

Jon Bond, founder and co-chairman of Kirshenbaum, said he was in the ‘early stages of informal discussions’ with a handful of creative boutiques billing in the $20 million range. He would not elaborate.

Sources said one agency Kirshenbaum is in preliminary talks to acquire or form a partnership with is Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif. BS&S principal Greg Stern said: ‘Nothing is concrete. No agreement has been drafted.’

In a related move, and as part of its efforts to win the review for Charles Schwab’s $18-20 million electronic trading ad account, Kirshenbaum has launched a separate unit called Montgomery North in San Francisco, headquarters of the financial services company.

Montgomery North will take Kirshenbaum’s place in the review. The New York agency withdrew from the pitch three weeks ago over a conflict with its $40-50 million Citibank client.

Despite the outcome of the Schwab review, Kirshenbaum will establish a permanent presence in San Francisco within a year. ‘If we win Schwab, we will open an autonomous office immediately, and for the first six months it will be dedicated to the Schwab business only,’ Bond said.

BS&S had worked with Schwab on a project basis. –with Joan Voight

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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