ABR 2011: AKQA
: Tom Bedecarre, CEO
Ownership : Private equity
Revenue : Global: $208 million; US: $125 million
AKQA offers interactive CRM, e-commerce, interface design, content creation and distribution, media planning, search marketing and analytics services. Its top verticals are automotive, financial services and retail; travel and healthcare are verticals the agency identified as targets for growth, says CEO Tom Bedecarre.
Last year, new work came from existing clients Nike, Gap, Johnson & Johnson and Visa, as well as new accounts from Delta Air Lines, Charles Schwab and Thomson Reuters. Two key wins were the media and creative accounts for TD Ameritrade and Audi of America.
The agency's US rolls grew to 515 in 2010 from 440 across three offices; notable hires included group creative director Pierre Lipton, client services director Julie Edwards and planning director Ian Chee.
AKQA is 50% larger than it was at the onset of recession, says Bedecarre.
The growth has attracted attention: Media reports suggest Morgan Stanley helped the agency around last year and holding company Dentsu initially showed interest. "We were very up front with people last year that there were inquiries and conversations, but nothing that was motivating to the management team or had the right fit and right timing for us," says Bedecarre.