2024 Financial Consultancies of the Year | PRovoke Media

2024 Financial PR Consultancies of the Year

The 2024 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the UK, Europe the Middle East and Africa. Analysis of each of the Winners and finalists across 20 geographic and specialist categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or below. Winners are unveiled at the 2024 EMEA SABRE Awards, which take place in London on 17 April. Tickets and tables are available here.

You can find the 2024 SABRE Awards EMEA finalists here.

Finalists

Drofa Comms (UK/Independent)

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Launched by Valentina Drofa in 2011 as a traditional financial services consultancy, Drofa Comms has emerged in recent years as leader in crypto and fintech PR. The firm’s 67 employees craft their work for clients with the goal of helping companies grow with care and respect through well-tuned communications. Drofa has built a team with a range of expertise and backgrounds in banking, financial journalism, regulation, law, blockchain and trading. As an international firm, Drofa works at the global market with a special focus on the UK, Europe, CIS, and LATAM.

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Drofa Comms has offices in London, the Cyprus city of Limassol and Dubai. 

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Drofa had yet another impressive showing in 2023, when fee income rose an eye-catching 66% to €3.5 million. That followed a stellar 2022, when Drofa’s revenue grew by 50%, making it the fifth fastest-growing PR firm in the UK and 13th in the world, according to PRovoke Media’s global rankings. Headcount grew 67. Drofa’s clients represent the full spectrum of the financial services sector (commercial & investment banks, hedge funds and asset management firms, exchanges, trading platforms, payment systems, Web3 ecosystems, blockchain companies, and crypto businesses), making for an eclectic list of clients including SIX Digital exchange, Mercuryo, CoinsPaid, UFG Capital, Apostro, Xive, Uluky, CEX.IO, Aximetria and Hashex.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Having a culturally and ethnically diverse staff has long been a priority for Drofa Comms given its status as an international player — and the cultural challenges that can come with that. Drofa supports corporate equality and diversity on a larger scale and considers issues related to DEI in everything from hiring to individualizing the workplace experience. In terms of race and ethnicity, Drofa is 55% white, 25% Black and 20 Asian. The staff is 70% female and 10% LGBTQ+.  About 5% of employees have disabilities. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Despite wider economic concerns, Drofa Comms had a prolific 2023, with creative output supporting a range of clients. Key work included helping Xive prepare for its US launch with a campaign aimed at changing consumers’ perceptions of bitcoin mining. The initiative included elevating the public profile of CEO Didar Bekbauov by positioning him as an expert in the media. The effort also included leveraging consumer media to acquaint US audiences with Xive’s offerings. 

Diana Marszalek


Edelman Smithfield (DJE Holdings) 

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Edelman turned 70 two years ago but—despite becoming the PR industry’s first billion-dollar business—shows no sign of losing its independent, entrepreneurial spirit. The firm is still the global go-to agency for clients looking for everything from crisis support to brand building, and its offer ranges from corporate reputation management ad employee engagement to digital and social media strategy and insights-led creative campaigns, across every industry sector. But the Edelman Smithfield operation is both newer and more focused: taking its name from the UK-based financial communications specialist acquired by Edelman in 2015, Edelman Smithfield became a global brand in July of 2022, focused on capital markets communications and special situations, including mergers and acquisitions, a space traditionally dominated by specialist boutiques.

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Edelman Smithfield has its EMEA headquarters in London, and a branded presence in Germany and the Middle East, as well as internationally in the US and Canada, and the Asia-Pacific region. Edelman itself has 1,200 people in 17 offices in 12 markets across EMEA. 

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While Edelman struggled in North America, which dragged down its global numbers for 2023, EMEA was the brightest spot in the overall story, with fee income up by about 8.1% to $228.6 million. That means a healthy 34% increase in size over the past four years. The Edelman Smithfield financial brand continued to grow, up 60% in the UK since 2020 and expanding into the Middle East, where it now has a $5 million business. The client list includes some of the biggest names in the financial world: Abu Dhabi Global Market, Allianz, American Express, Aviva, Axa, Black Rock, Charls Schwab, EY, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, HSBC, Mercer, Mubadala, Rothschild & Co., and William Blair. A significant source of growth in 2023 was the firm’s work on ESG reporting for clients such as HSBC, Chanel, PWC, Moody’s, Euroclear and more, as well as working directly for this year’s COP28.

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Smithfield co-founder John Kiely continues to serve as chairman of EMEA, with Alex Simmons serving as head of EMEA and Andrew Wilde as managing director, UK, and global head of financial services. Capital markets specialist Dhanya Issac joined in January of last year to head its Dubai operation. Edelman has an EMEA DE&I council that oversees activity and report into local and regional leadership, including progress against goals such as 50/50 gender balance at leadership level, activation of employee resource Groups and delivery of DEI-focused learning and development programmes, ranging from general unconscious bias training to more inclusive leadership modules as part the agency’s leadership academy. Country-specific activity is tailored to meet local goals.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Edelman continues to evolve its industry-leading Trust Barometer thought leadership platform, adding new markets (most recently in Africa) and ensuring that it serves as a diagnostic and consultative tool with the introduction of the Edelman Trust Management Platform. The firm also continues to build on its Action Method, a creative process that enables teams to find action-oriented solutions to clients’ business problems. Edelman was the only global full-service firm to make the top 20 in mergermarket’s annual ranking of M&A advisors, 18th on the global list by volume of deals, 16th in the UK, and fifth in the Middle East. It has worked on deals such as Kensington Mortgages acquisition by Barclays; General Atlantic’s acquisition of Joe and the Juice; PureHealth on its IPO; and Edwardian Hotels on the sale of its London portfolio.

Paul Holmes

Team Farner (Waterland Private Equity)

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Now known as Team Farner, the Swiss market leader is not just a domestic heavyweight, but one of the best players in EMEA, as evidenced by its selection as one of PRovoke’s EMEA Consultancies of the Decade. And the firm’s progress in recent years demonstrates that it is just as focused on the future, tying up with an investment partner to help bankroll a string of acquisitions including such major names as Lansons in the UK, Kirchoff Consult, Komm.passion VIM and GFD in Germany, Skills and All Channels in Austria, and several others across the DACH region and beyond. All of which gives Farner an offering that spans the entire value chain of communications, including strategy, reputation and issues management, crisis, digital marketing, advertising, branding/brand transformation/employer branding, change/internal communications, public affairs, corporate communications and behavioral design.

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Team Farner's acquisition spree means headcount is now nearing 700, across 17 offices in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA.

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Underpinned by seven acquisitions in 2023 alone, Team Farner’s fee income grew 25% increase in 2023 to break the $100m barrier at $112.6m. The firm’s client portfolio is impressive, with key existing clients including ABB, abbvie, IBM, ING, Merck, Microsoft, Roche, SIX, SwissLife, UBS, and notable new acquisitions such as Atruvia, Columbia Threadneedle, Frequentis, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals, Inventx, Lidl, LSEG, Porsche, Santander, Volkswagen.

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In addition to Farner CEO Roman Geiser, who serves as executive chairman of Team Farner, key leaders include Lansons CEO Gordon Tempest-Hay, Lansons MD Laura Hastings, komm.passion founder/CEO Alexander Güttler, Farner co-CEOs Pablo Koerfer and Michel Grunder, VIM CEO Marc Cloosterman, KTHE founder/CEO Rudolf Kobza and Team Farner CIO Daniel Jörg. The firm is particularly focused on promoting gender diversity in leadership and ensuring equal pay. There’s also considerable focus on flexible work arrangements, including a "workation" policy, alongside involvement in initiatives like Equal Voice and the Diversity Charter.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Team Farner’s thought leadership includes various publications and research, such as a publication on Behavioural Science in Global Policy, the yearly DACH Study, and specific reports on COP28 and reputation. In terms of work, Farner developed an award-winning employer branding campaign for Swiss Federal Railways and a successful PR/election campaign for Islam Alijaj in Switzerland’s national parliament. 

Arun Sudhaman