Bernhardt Becomes Part of Noblemen

SAN FRANCISCO The Noblemen Group, an investment banking and business development firm, said it has acquired Bernhardt Agency.

Bernhardt, a strategic marketing, advertising and public relations agency based in Portland, Ore., will merge with The Noblemen Group in San Diego to form a new division called Noblemen Communications.

Mike Bernhardt, the agency founder, will become executive vice president of the company, and president of the new communications division. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“The opportunity is just tremendous for us,” said Bernhardt. “What I could have done in my own business with its steady by slow growth mode is going to be so far surpassed by having this combination of investment banking and business development.”

As part of the acquisition, the former Bernhardt Agency will maintain its current staff and offices in Portland. Additional staff will be hired for the communications division in various cities around the country, Bernhardt said.

The acquisition is also a strategic move for the marketing agency, said Bernhardt. “Advertising and PR firms and marketing agencies are trying to do things the way they did five or 10 years ago and are running into a brick wall,” he said. “I absolutely think that being able to think and act strategically and offer clients high-level, top-down good solid business advice is key to [agencies] succeeding in the next few years.”

Bernhardt’s roster of clients includes National Semiconductor, Sharp Systems of America and SGI. The agency also has an established speaker services division that places speakers at trade shows and conferences around the world.