WASHINGTON, DC — Business, political and policy consultancy Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI) has expanded into Europe with the acquisition of Boldt.

Business strategy, public policy and communications firm Boldt, which was founded in 2017 by former Burson-Marsteller EMEA CEO Jeremy Galbraith, now has a team of 50 across six European offices: Brussels, Berlin, Düsseldorf, London, Oslo and Zürich.

On completion of the deal, BPI – which has offices in Washington DC, Chicago, New York and San Francisco – will rebrand as Bully Pulpit International, while Boldt will retain its brand and become Boldt, a BPI Company. The combined firm will have more than 250 employees and will offer public affairs, campaigning and strategic communications to American and European clients.

The deal involves the acquisition of 100% of Boldt, via cash and shares, and the founding partners are committed to remain with the business for a minimum of five years. Both businesses are currently partnerships and the partnership structure will remain, with Galbraith continuing to run the European operation.

BPI president Andrew Bleeker (pictured, right) told PRovoke Media the deal was timely, since Brussels, European capitals and Washington are more connected than ever, and next year will see pivotal elections in the US and Europe.

“We’ll be faster and better together. There are the same policy and corporate strategy conversations going on in Europe and the US on topics from AI and energy transition to anti-trust, privacy and global security. Clients are eager for guidance but few feel they have strong consultancy teams on both sides of the Atlantic. Industries over the next two decades will need governments far more than previously; it’s a transitional moment and government has a big role to play.”

Boldt previously had a presence in the US via strategic partnerships with two public affairs firms: Ibex Partners in Washington, DC and Summit Strategy Group in California. The consultancy also has a network of partners around the world.

Managing partner Galbraith (pictured, left) told PRovoke Media: “We weren’t expecting this to happen so soon, but it’s such a natural fit in terms of the type of work we do in advising clients on critical issues, and the clients we work with. It’s an ideal time, given the political landscape and the pressures that businesses face.

“We’ve grown quickly over the past six years and we want to grow even faster. This deal allows us to do exactly that, and to look at other geographies we want to get into – there are a few obvious holes including Paris – bring in new partners and look at new specialisms.”

The two firms were introduced by a client in common, McDonald’s global chief impact officer Jon Banner, who said: “I have worked with both BPI and Boldt for many years. I look forward to seeing the growth and success that comes from their partnership.”

On the rebrand, Bleeker said: “Our work has long transcended the digital space, and we know we’ve outgrown ‘interactive’ as part of our identity. Introducing our first international partner is the perfect moment to make a change that signifies the next step in our evolution.”

The news follows the April 2023 announcement of Broad Sky Partners as BPI’s new lead investor. The consultancy was named as PRovoke Media’s global public affairs consultancy of the year in 2021 and 2022.

As well as growing rapidly through the hire of senior advisors across Europe, recent developments at Boldt have included the launch of a creative offer, Boldt Edge, in June 2022.