Arun Sudhaman 04 Jan 2023 // 8:17AM GMT
WASHINGTON, DC — Public affairs firm Qorvis is independent again, nine years after it became part of Publicis PR network MSL.
The consultancy, best known for its work on behalf of Saudi Arabia, completed a 100% management buyout on 31 December 2022, led by CEO Matt Lauer (pictured).
Founded in 2000, Qorvis was acquired by Publicis Groupe in 2014, reporting into MSL North America. However, the firm ceased to be part of the MSL network in late 2018, when Diana Littman became CEO of MSL USA.
By that point, Qorvis' work for Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern governments was attracting increasing scrutiny, much of it less than favourable. In 2020, Qorvis was also forced to withdraw from Hong Kong's search for a PR firm, once sister firm MSL concluded that there was too much opposition to the bid.
"We are a reborn agency, ready to leverage our 20-year legacy. Serving at the nexus of finance, transparency, and public affairs, we provide shareholders and sovereigns with access to capital and influence," said Lauer in a statement. "In the coming weeks, we look forward to unveiling the new Qorvis brand, reimagined to help our clients meet their most critical communications and reputational challenges."
In addition to Lauer, who has been with Qorvis for almost two decades, the firm's MBO team also includes Maria Abad, who is elevated from VP to COO.
Several other MBO team members have been recruited to join Qorvis. Samantha Sault becomes chief editorial officer, while former Bluetext managing partner Richard Silipigni has been named chief development officer.
Grace Fenstermaker returns to Qorvis as EMEA managing partner, while Brad Klapper becomes Washington DC managing partner.
Qorvis will remain headquartered in Washington DC, and plans to build upon its existing presence in Dubai, Geneva, Brussels, and Barcelona. The firm will retain the same name, and plans to launch a new brand identity and vision in the coming weeks.