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Kekst and CNC Join Forces to Create Premier Global Strategic Communications Consultancy

Tue, 10/09/2018

New Firm, Kekst CNC, Will Have a Strong Presence across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East

  • Combination Builds on Years of Successful Collaboration on Cross-Border Client Engagements
  • Firm Opens Hong Kong Office and Further Strengthens London Presence
  • Announces Global Advisory Board  
  • New Firm Remains Part of Publicis Groupe’s MSL Global PR Agency Network

New York and Munich, October 9, 2018 – Kekst and CNC, two of the world’s premier strategic communications firms, announced today that they have combined to create Kekst CNC, a leading global communications consultancy with 12 offices around the world. The new firm provides clients with a significantly broader range of capabilities and seamless access to highly experienced corporate communications professionals in key markets around the world.

For nearly two decades, Kekst and CNC, both part of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40], have partnered on numerous cross-border engagements, and today are formalizing and deepening their relationship to address the growing global demands of their worldwide client base. Kekst CNC’s clients include a broad range of public and private companies, institutions, alternative investment firms, and non-profit organizations from virtually every sector of the global economy.

Kekst CNC has more than 250 strategic communications professionals who will serve more than 600 clients across offices in New York, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Brussels, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, and Stockholm, where the firm will continue to operate under the name JKL.

In addition, Kekst CNC announced today that it has established a presence in the Greater China region with an office in Hong Kong. The office is headed by Pui Shan Lee, a highly experienced corporate communications executive in the region. Kekst CNC is also expanding its strong position in London with Vanessa Neill, Managing Director at Kekst, joining the leadership team in London.

Kekst CNC will be co-led by Jeremy Fielding and Bernhard Meising, the current CEOs of Kekst and CNC respectively, supported by a strong and experienced group of senior professionals across the world.   

Jeremy Fielding, co-CEO of Kekst CNC, said, “Global perspective matters more than ever in today’s environment, where business models are being upended by digitization and new stakeholder expectations. Our clients increasingly need a partner they can depend on for consistent and superior advice in the key global markets where they operate. Boards and management teams can rely on Kekst CNC to help them build confidence among stakeholders in their ability to deliver sustainable value.”

Bernhard Meising, co-CEO of Kekst CNC, said, “The decision for Kekst and CNC to combine is a natural development of our close relationship and our common desire to address the needs of our clients on a global scale. While each client is unique, there are few business situations that our combined team has not experienced before. We are excited by the opportunity to seamlessly bring that collective experience to our clients’ most complex business challenges.”
Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Groupe, said, “Kekst and CNC are like-minded consultancy brands that have long been leaders in their respective geographies, and we could not be more supportive of their decision to join forces. Across every part of Publicis Groupe, we see how business leaders are facing extraordinary pressures as the pace of change accelerates and stakeholder demands rise exponentially. In this environment, the judgment, experience and insight that a combined Kekst CNC brings to market is invaluable to companies as they powerfully communicate their strategies.”    

Guillaume Herbette, Global CEO of MSL, said, “The combination of Kekst and CNC strengthens the collaboration and specialization of businesses across our global network and enhances our offer to clients.”

Kekst CNC’s Wide Breadth of Services

Kekst CNC creates and implements communications strategies to enable clients to support every aspect of their strategic business objectives: helping them grow organically or through acquisition; undertake transformation initiatives; or protect themselves against specific threats or reputational issues.

The firm has long been a leader on special situations including: M&A*, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations/resolutions, litigation support, investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, as well as change management and employee engagement. Kekst CNC’s judgment and counsel is supported by data-driven insights, based on proprietary research and analysis capabilities.

Formation of Kekst CNC Advisory Board

As part of the decision to combine, Kekst CNC has formed an Advisory Board consisting of distinguished global leaders with expertise in a variety of fields related to the areas of most concern to our clients. The Advisory Board is chaired by Maurice Lévy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, and its initial members include Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, former German Ambassador to the U.S. and U.K. and currently Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; Nuala O’Connor, President & CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Göran Persson, former Swedish Prime Minister; and Matthew Westerman, co-founder of MW&L Capital Partners and a former global banking leader at Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Rothschild & Co.

*For the full year 2017, Kekst and CNC combined would have ranked #2 globally in the Mergermarket M&A league tables for corporate communications counsel.

About Kekst CNC  

Kekst CNC is a global strategic communications consultancy that was formed in late 2018 when two market-leading firms, Kekst, founded in 1970, and CNC-Communications & Network Consulting, founded in 2002, combined their teams and capabilities. The combination built on years of collaboration on many cross-border clients and projects and their shared culture of how they work with clients. The firm currently has 250 professionals in 12 offices across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Kekst CNC is part of the worldwide Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40]. For further information, please visit


For the U.S.
Jeffrey Taufield/Molly Morse | (212) 521-4800 | and

For Germany
Harald Kinzler | +4969506037579 |

For the U.K. and Middle East
Richard Campbell | +442032198801 |

For Sweden
Anders Lindberg | +4686961201 |

For Asia
Jochen Legewie | +81351560185 |

Note: From October 10th 2018 the Kekst CNC team can be reached under

Michael Echter | +16465006035 |

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