Joele Frank Topples Kekst for #1 M&A Spot in The Deal


The media loves compiling contentious, arguable rankings, and the few we have in the PR business are splashed proudly on agencies sites, and sprinkled throughout many a boilerplate.

One out today that’s not a Holmes, O’Dwyers or PRWeek is The Deal‘s 2007 “league” rankings of the PR agencies behind big M&A.

The usual top firm Kekst is edged out by Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher (JFWMK). According to the intro by Editor Robert Teitelman, “Kekst has been on top of the heap probably as long as there was a heap.”

The list is admittedly not comprehensive. It’s merely a comparative ranking that takes the number of target adviser-side, and acquirer adviser-side deals and divides by the total to get the market share of this type of PR work.

This puts JFWMK at 20.3% share with 79 deals versus Kekst’s 19.5% with 76 deals.

From what we hear Kekst wasn’t thrilled at being knocked off its perch, and announced 6 more deals after the list went live on Friday. Oh snap!

The full ranking table is available for free at thanks to the gracious head of communications Martha Brown. JFWMK is already kicking in ’08 by representing Microsoft in its hostile takeover of Yahoo!

For more information on the top players in financial communications & investor relations, read The Deal’s “When Reality and Illusion Collide; Inside the world of deal PR” in the September 2007. You can find a PDF version on‘s news page.