Diana Marszalek 24 Aug 2021 // 6:49PM GMT
NEW YORK — Zeno Group has made a strategic investment in Egami, forming a partnership with the Black-owned agency aimed at bolstering both firms’ multicultural offerings.
Zeno and Egami, which specializes in multicultural communications, will remain independent under the deal, the details of which were not disclosed.
Egami will use Zeno’s capital to scale its business to meet growing demand for its offerings, largely through the addition of resources and boosting talent with mentorships.
Zeno, meantime, aims to expand its own multicultural capabilities with help from Egami, which CEO Teneshia Jackson Warner launched 14 years ago.
The agencies will also pool their talent, resources and experience to help companies better reach multicultural audiences, as well as drive change around issues like social justice and DE&I. They also will be working with clients across industries to foster more in-depth understandings of multicultural communities, and the impact of distinct groups.
Advancing diverse talent from both firms is another key component of the partnership. The effort will be co-led by Byron Calamese, managing director of Zeno East, and Parris Bowe, managing director of Egami.
"We very much see this as a new model of collaboration for change,” said Zeno CEO Barby Siegel.
“We started talking last year about what we could do together to support one another and accelerate progress around elevating multicultural competency and matters of DE&I for our talent, our clients and the communications industry at large,” Siegel said. “This partnership is grounded in our shared commitment to work that is purposeful, where the transactional becomes transformational, impacting people’s lives in big and small ways. Zeno could not be prouder to support Egami in their mission to make the world a better place for people of color.”
Warner noted that investments like Zeno's play a key role in supporting Black entrepreneurs, whose businesses are three times more likely than those owned by whites to be hurt by a lack of capital.
“Scaling a high-growth business like ours can be challenging without significant and timely access to capital, resources and mentorship; and as the demand for our business increased, we instinctively knew it was time to form a win/win alliance,” Warner said.
“After getting to know Barby, Byron [Calamese] and the Zeno team, we knew we found the right partner in purpose — from our shared passion and commitment to DE&I, to a mutual understanding that the time is now for our industry to make cultural competency a priority. Together, we are poised to scale our shared vision, and most importantly, the impact we can make for our clients, talent, the industry and the world.