Lloyd Northover Citigate has clinched a deal with US consultancy Bass Yager – founded by the late Saul Bass and Herb Yager – to reinforce its global position.
The deal is an alliance for now, but is likely to become a merger, according to Lloyd Northover chairman Jim Northover. As part the deal Bass Yager changes its name to Bass Yager Citigate.
There’s no timeframe on a merger, says Northover, “But we’d be disappointed if we couldn’t do something in the next year.” The groups are compatible in quality of work and philosophy, he maintains.
LNC was looking for an alliance rather than going for organic growth in the US because of the need for credibility there. It’s a massive mature market, says Northover, and a portfolio of work for “good names” is an advantage. He adds: “A lot of clients now need work on a global basis and you need to field a worldwide team.”
According to Yager, the death of Bass last year caused his team to rethink its positioning. “The marketplace has changed. We needed a global alliance to increase our competitiveness,” he says.
Bass Yager’s ten-strong team gives LNC a strong creative presence in Los Angeles and a complementary client list, particularly in the oil and financial markets.
LNC has a London headquarters and a design office in Hong Kong, as well as access to the Citigate network in Europe, Singapore, New York, San Francisco and the Middle East.
The two consultancies already share a client in oil firm Exxon, Bass Yager being its preferred consultant and LNC working for its European brand Esso. And there are also plans for joint pitches.
The two groups were introduced by “a mutual friend”, New York recruitment consultant Roz Goldfarb, says Yager.