LONDON—In an unusual move, UK PR firm Brazil has struck a joint venture deal with long-standing client ChangeGroup that sees it take a 50% stake in the currency company's online money exchange business.

The 50:50 JV sees Brazil take charge of PR, social media and digital marketing to drive customer traffic and encourage loyalty for ChangeGroup's online travel money offering in the UK. ChangeGroup will provide the online platform, logistics and fulfillment.

While PR firms have been known to take small stakes in startups, this type of joint venture remains rare in the agency world. Brazil CEO Joshua Van Raalte told the Holmes Report that the deal represents a "unique opportunity to put our money where our mouth is."

“Business models are rapidly changing, and agencies need to move with the times too," added Van Raalte. "More and more of our clients are asking for shared risk models, where remuneration is directly correlated to success or failure. We see this as the ultimate test in our ability to directly influence a business far more than the traditional PR remit.”

Founded in 1992, ChangeGroup is seeking to grow its online money exchange business following steady expansion of its bureau offering, which currently operates in 120 branches across 23 cities in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

"The relationship we have built with Brazil over the years has gone beyond a traditional client-agency agreement," said ChangeGroup GM Paul Crombie. "Working together, we have the ability to drive business in different ways whilst working to mutually agreed targets which will benefit both parties.” 

Brazil’s work will also incorporate SEO, PPC, partnerships and sponsorships. The independent PR firm was founded in 2003 and currently has offices in the US, Brazil and Qatar, alongside its London HQ.