NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Coming off an impressive year of major blue-chip client wins and continued growth in Asia, Ruder Finn announces the acquisition of China event management, brand and marketing consultancy, Thunder Communications, as well as senior management changes, aimed at positioning the agency for continued expansion. Ruder Finn Asia has grown at an average of 45% year on year over the past decade and is one of the top international agencies in China.
Led by Tracy Tong, one of the longest-standing PR practitioners in Shanghai, Thunder Communications works with clients such as Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Bosch, Delphi, Intel, Siemens, Bayer Material Science, Villeroy & Boch, MTS, The Italian Chamber of Commerce and The Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The company is headquartered in Shanghai and has an established network of affiliate offices nationwide.
"We are delighted with our strategic acquisition of Thunder Communications, which deepens our roots in China and extends our work to emerging economic centers in Asia," said Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn. "We are confident that this will put us in an even stronger position globally and will allow us to continue to provide the very best communications services for our clients."
In addition to the acquisition of Thunder Communications, Ruder Finn announces some senior management advancements into new roles and markets in the Asia Pacific region.
Six months after returning to Ruder Finn China as Managing Director, Training and Offerings, Elan Shou has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Ruder Finn China. In her new role, Elan will focus on continuing Ruder Finn's decade-long double-digit growth and consolidating the China operations, with the three China offices reporting to her. Elan worked for Ruder Finn from 2001 to 2008, heading Ruder Finn Shanghai for five years, and growing the 10 people office to a 50-staff operation, renowned for their strategic and quality work.
With close to 15 years' extensive experience in corporate and marketing communications, Elan specializes in reputation management and brand building, and has provided strategic consultation for clients in a variety of sectors including corporate, finance, premier consumer, healthcare, auto, travel and tourism, and government. Elan has also accumulated a wide experience in managing crises in China, and has managed issues and crises covering market withdrawal, product recalls, consumer complaints, litigation, blackmail and others.
Elan will be based in Shanghai and continue to report to Jean-Michel Dumont. Jean-Michel, who was promoted to Chairman of Ruder Finn Asia two years ago, will temporarily relocate to Singapore to focus on extending Ruder Finn's growth in other Asian markets. According to a report from the BBC, Singapore's economy expanded at a record rate in 2010, driven by a surge in manufacturing activity. The economy grew by 14.7% last year, rebounding strongly from a 1.3% contraction the previous year.
Jean-Michel said: "In the past few decades Asia has grown faster and richer than any other region in the world. The consumers have now become a leading consumer force and this rise of Asian consumerism has created a major socio- economic trend that is changing the global economic landscape. We have already achieved incredible success in China and relocating to Singapore will allow me to leverage this success and do the same in the rest of the region."
2010 was an impressive year for Ruder Finn Asia. Life and Style activities, which span an impressive list of luxury brands including Emirates, Moet Hennessy Diageo, Hermes and Volkswagen, remained the largest practice area in China, with Corporate and Public Trust also holding a significant position. Ruder Finn also plans to establish a branch in China of its leading Ruder Finn Innovation Studios, one of the largest digital teams in the PR agency world.
Many new clients came on board, such as Folli Follie and Links of London, Givenchy, Longines, and Breitling. Ruder Finn was recognized by leading China publication 21st Century Business Herald through its Award for "The Best Service Provider of Luxury Industry". Ruder Finn's second annual China Luxury Forecast 2010 was published in collaboration with Albatross Global Solutions, giving additional insights in behavior and purchasing trends, specifically in the online segment.
About Ruder Finn
Ruder Finn, Inc. is a leading communications, counseling and services agency with more than 65 years' experience. The Ruder Finn Group maintains offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, London, Paris, Jerusalem, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. The Agency also works with affiliates in major markets throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. The Agency services global and local communications needs of more than 250 corporations and nonprofit organizations.
The Agency is organized around four strategic pillars that reflect its key areas of leadership: Health & Wellness, Corporate & Public Trust, Global Connectivity, and Life & Style. Expertise includes corporate reputation management, branding, cultural and social issues, and intent-driven social media through its digital practices, RF Relate and RF Innovation Studios.
For more information, please contact:
Katy Kelley, Vice President, Ruder Finn New York
SOURCE Ruder Finn