Arnold-Owned Direct Unit Absorbs Crosstown Shop
BOSTON--Wickersham Hunt Schwantner last week purchased 27-year-old direct marketing shop Berenson, Isham & Partners in a cash and stock deal valued at $3 million.
The deal gives Wickersham an influx of seasoned employees, several big-name clients and heightened interactive capabilities, said Amy Hunt, managing partner of Wickersham. The move also allows principals Paul Berenson and Carolyn Isham to gracefully transition out of the ad business if they so choose.
Boston-based Berenson's 20 employees and all of its accounts--notably direct marketing and interactive assignments for Fidelity Investments, Club Med and the Financial Times--in January will make the crosstown move to Wickersham. That agency is a direct marketing unit of Arnold Communications, which in turn is owned by publicly traded Snyder Communications in Bethesda, Md.
Snyder chief financial officer Clay Perfall confirmed the $3 million sale price and said a mix of cash and Snyder stock was used. He would disclose no other details.
Absorbing Berenson will boost total staffing at Wickersham to nearly 120. Billings will rise to $160 million.
Berenson chairman and chief executive officer Paul Berenson and executive vice president Carolyn Isham have both signed one-year employment contracts with Wickersham. They were the only equity partners in the agency, which claims $40 million in overall billings.
Berenson president Anders Ekman, who was hired by the agency a year ago, will join Wickersham in an executive position. Specific titles and duties have yet to be determined, but for the most part Berenson staff will continue serving their current clients, according to Hunt.