WPP has taken a 30% stake in global advisory firm Richard Attias & Associates (RAA), making its move into strategic consulting. Under the leadership of founder chairman Richard Attias, RAA has worked with governments and corporations to articulate their global objectives.
RAA is based in New York and has offices in Paris, London, Rabat and Dubai. The new alliance fast-tracks its plan to establish as strong a presence in Europe and Asia. Worldwide RAA employs 50 people and has revenues of more than US$35 million.
RAA creates tailor-made programs, conferences and summits. Some of these events include the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, launch of the Euro in 2000, the 2008 Arab Strategy Forum, the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii, the 15th African Securities Exchange Association in Marrakech, Doha GOALS Forum, The Middle East Peace Summit in Jordan and several others.
In 2014, RAA will be producing 14 high-profile symposiums to address issues such as global challenges of food security, global education, healthcare in Africa, the global energy crisis, women’s rights and sport as a tool for economic and social progress.
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said: “By building this partnership with global influencer Richard Attias , WPP confirms its strategy to support countries to brand their nations and corporations to have access to faster growing markets. Our ambition is to create together with Attias a world champion in the field of strategic communication, international conferences and global action oriented events.”
To WPP, Attias brings a wealth of cross-cultural experience and understanding of doing business in many different regions. He will work across the group on public policy issues, events and conferences and importantly, help WPP companies to build their businesses across Africa.
Attias added that WPP has built formidable government and public policy assets in its agency brands, as well as event and conference capabilities.
“We now have the opportunity to “horizontalise” these offers in a much more effective way for our clients and governments,” Attias said.
Before founding his own firm, Attias served as special advisor to the Emirate of Dubai, developing a branding strategy for making the city a destination for major conferences, cultural and sporting events. For 10 years until 2008, Attias worked as founder/shareholder of PublicisLive and Publicis Events Worldwide. He produced events for clients such as IBM, L’Oreal, BT, Lenovo, EDF, Sanofi-Aventis and a number of governments.