News and views
On September 24th, 2002, M:Communications began trading from a tiny Regus office on the 9th floor of Citypoint at 1 Ropemaker Street, with two employees and a temporary receptionist who was also a qualified kickboxing instructor. The kickboxer was soon replaced by a professional p/a; a head of research, two senior investor relations gurus, a Paris-based Swedish corporate communications legend, a former Sunday Times journalist, an IPO specialist, an oil & gas industry veteran and a financier/former MP arrived shortly afterwards with a part-time cfo and a temporary techie, both of whom soon became full time and are still here.
Our first two clients were LVMH, the international luxury goods giant, and SVB (now Novae plc) a small Loyds underwriting business. Both are with us today.
Soon after came our first mega-merger clients: Zimmer, an ambitious US healthcare player, made the first ever hostile bid for a Swiss company – Centerpulse – which had initially agreed terms with rival Smith & Nephew from the UK. Also France’s Credit Agricole, which was negotiating a highly complex marriage with Credit Lyonnais. The merged business has continued to work with us across an ever–growing brief throughout its portfolio of businesses.
We also celebrated our first IPO, the flotation of Belgacom, at $4.3bn Europe’s largest privatisation of the period. At the very other end of the spectrum was Melrose, which floated on AIM in 2003 at a value of £13m (and recently joined the ranks of our FTSE 100 clients with a market cap of £3.3 billion).
In the intervening years M: has steadily built a list of UK and international clients who retain us to advise right across the spectrum of communications disciplines and audiences from digital and online through employee communications, customer relations, corporate and financial, investor communications, government and regulatory, and crisis response. And across the globe, from Hong Kong, Japan, India and Australia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, the Gulf, the EU and North America.
A handful of very talented people have left us and quickly become clients and supporters…or have moved on to more rewarding careers as mothers of very small children. But each year we have continued to grow in all the right places.
We work across most sectors. In Financials, we helped Lloyds Banking Group in the world’s largest (£23 billion) fundraising and advised Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group over Northern Rock; we advise Electra, one of the longest-established private equity firms in the UK; and we have assisted Terry Smith, one of the UK’s highest profile financial sector entrepreneurs, with his Tullett Prebon business and the launch of Fundsmith. Our specialist energy team acts for Norway’s Statoil, Falklands driller Rockhopper, and Kurdistan’s Genel Energy, amongst many others. Our healthcare team today advises over 25 clients internationally. In Retail we helped float fashion retailer SuperGroup and advise Ocado, the UK’s favourite online grocer. We are the market leading adviser in the Luxury Goods sector; we’re experts in green power and renewables as well as Metals & Mining, Industrials, Leisure, Media, Real Estate and Telecoms. Our public affairs team have mounted high-profile anti-extradition campaigns, lobbied on planning issues, launched shareholder activist campaigns, prepped clients for Select Committee hearings and helped set up cross-party groups in Parliament. We advised Sir Peter Walker during his preparation of the groundbreaking report into Private Equity, and we currently act for a TV ‘Dragon’ with one of his quoted portfolio companies.
We have stayed in Citypoint throughout this time, moving to a quarter floor on the 15th, to half a floor on the dizzy 34th level where we ducked as the Red Arrows roared just overhead on a glorious day, September 6th, 2005. And watched with helpless horror as the helicopters hovered around us less than 24 hours later and the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company next door were turned into a grisly mortuary. Later we saw the Olympic Park rise from a wasteland and more skyscrapers continue to rise over in Canary Wharf, matched by the Gherkin as new icons of the London skyline. We now occupy the whole of Citypoint’s 11th floor, where the views are still spectacular. (Our City location was a great jump-off point for Ashes, Jubilee and Olympic parades, too…let’s not forget them!)
Meanwhile we have opened other offices in Moscow, the Gulf and South Africa, and you can now visit our sister offices in Wall Street (DF King/Broadgate), Stockholm (Hallvarsson and Halvarsson) and Sao Paolo (KWIR). There are 65 of us around the world, inside a larger network of over 900 staff within the King Worldwide Group.
It has truly been a turbulent ten years and we have witnessed first-hand many extraordinary events from those offices around the world. Lots of firsts, too; we bought our first Blackberries, (then i-Phones and i-Pads), opened our first Twitter account, built our first client website and wrote our first client blog. We’ve also been fortunate to be retained by a growing roster of exceptional businesses, organisations and individuals from whom we have learned much and have been proud to contribute our own talents and insights. They have helped us grow our revenues year by year, and increase our pool of dedicated, enthusiastic and highly-skilled executives.
From September 24th, 2012, M: Communications looks forward to the next decade with excitement and great expectation. We hope to meet you on that journey!
Citypoint 11th Floor 1 Ropemaker Street London, EC2Y 9AW
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7920 2330 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org