Edelman launches financial communications boutique

The network is expanding Edelman Smithfield to Canada from the U.K. in response to growing client demand.

David Ryan Edelman Smithfield (1)

David Ryan will lead the new Edelman Smithfield practice in Canada as its managing director.

Driven by growing demand for highly specialized counsel, Edelman is expanding its financial communications expertise in Canada with the launch of a boutique agency, Edelman Smithfield.

The new agency is the first expansion of the Edelman Smithfield brand, which launched in the U.K. more than six years ago when Edelman acquired Smithfield Consultants in 2015.

“We needed to build a model that enables us to offer dedicated senior and highly specialized counsel and the full suite of a large agency like Edelman’s capabilities,” says David Ryan, who has been named managing director of the new Canadian practice. “By that, I mean incorporating expertise from complementary areas across the larger agency, such as public affairs and government relations, digital, creative, research and paid media.”

Edelman Smithfield Logo (1)The new agency will focus on three core service areas, Ryan explains: merger and acquisition and special situation communications, which “helps companies work through high-stakes and often transformative events”; institutional financial services, which “works with private equity and asset management clients and has a big focus on B2B communications”; and, lastly, investor relations support, “working with publicly traded companies to help them engage in the investment community more effectively.”

Under that third core service area is environmental, social and governance advisory, which is “a big driver of growth in our business,” he says.

As far as staffing is concerned, the agency “is hitting the ground running” and intends to quickly add senior and mid-level talent. It has already moved a number of employees over from Edelman “and we’re hiring on top of that to meet the demand we’re seeing for integrated financial communications,” says Ryan.

“In specialized PR, your growth is limited by your ability to attract and retain top talent,” he adds. “That is something we’re very mindful of, and it’s also one of the reasons we’ve created this new model – we need to attract that specialized talent to our agency, keep them engaged and allow them to grow their careers here.”

While Canada is the first market the brand is expanding into, Edelman has plans to introduce Edelman Smithfield in markets within continental Europe and the Middle East, as well. “We’re investing to meet a demand,” says Ryan.