SAN FRANCISCO-Montgomery North, a spinoff of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York, will open for business next week and begin working for its new client, Charles Schwab.
Kirshenbaum created the Montgomery North identity earlier this year to compete for the estimated $18 million Schwab account, due to Kirshenbaum's conflict with the $40-50 million Citibank account.
Montgomery North won the Schwab business last week, following a final round of presentations against Blazing Paradigm, San Francisco. Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising, Los Angeles, withdrew from the review two weeks ago.
Incumbent Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif., opted not to compete for the account, which initially involved only the client's electronic trading business but will now include other duties for the Schwab brand.
Kirshenbaum had been in talks with a number of San Francisco agencies, believed to include Butler, Shine & Stern, about acquiring or forming a partnership with one of the shops. However, those discussions are off, said Richard Warren, former Kirshenbaum group account director who joined Montgomery North as co-managing director. "Kirshenbaum is definitely not considering buying another agency," he said. "Montgomery North will stand on its own."
The Schwab account will be Montgomery North's sole focus for now, Warren explained, although the agency will look for more business after its office is staffed. Agency executives plan on hiring between 10 and 30 people from the Bay Area, he said.
Montgomery North currently operates out of temporary office space in San Francisco. "We will begin looking for new office space immediately," said Warren.
Tim Godsall, former Kirshenbaum associate creative director, has joined Warren at Montgomery North as co-managing director. Godsall and Warren are the only people who have joined the agency from Kirshenbaum, Warren said. -with Teresa Andreoli