Flagship Sails Into The Selbey Anderson Group

Simon Quarendon | July 24, 2019


Selbey Anderson has completed its fourth acquisition since launching the company in December last year. The purchase of Flagship Consulting also represents its second PR agency and joins Greentarget, which it acquired in April. Although Selbey Anderson is not targeting the PR sector specifically, it is drawn to agencies that are well managed and have consistent revenue streams. Both Flagship and Greentarget meet those criteria.

Flagship was set up by its co-founders Jackie Murphy and Diana Soltmann over thirty years ago. It provides integrated marketing services to clients drawn from the financial services, professional services, technology and travel sectors. Following the acquisition, Deputy Managing Director Mark Pinnes, who joined the agency in 2014, has stepped up to become Managing Director while Jackie Murphy and Diana Soltmann will take on consultancy roles.

Flagship’s acquisition brings the Selbey Anderson group’s annualised billings to £5.5m, its headcount to fifty-five staff and the number of office locations to six.

We’re going soft

We’re increasingly finding that each acquisition doesn’t just bring hard – measurable – assets such as client contracts and fee-earning staff but a range of softer, immeasurable assets too, including the skills, attributes and cultural values of each agencies’ staff. For example, the staff in the two PR agencies speak over ten languages between them.

It’s not a question we ask in the due diligence process but its welcome surprise that we can capitalise on in the future. In fact, we’re now developing an online skills database where we’re capturing all the skills our workforce possess. Going forward, we’ll be able to make this ‘talent pool’ available to clients who’ll be able to create virtual teams whose skills match their specific requirements.

Can we keep up the pace? You bet!

We believe that our current pace of acquisitions, which is currently averaging one every two months, is entirely sustainable. The various business systems that we’ve put in place behind the scenes (consisting primarily of cloud-based IT systems that help us manage our sales, finance, IT and people more efficiently) are sufficiently robust to absorb the additional ‘load factors’ that each agency acquisition brings.

Flagship’s purchase means that it leaves our acquisition sales pipeline and will need to be replaced. Fortunately, the pipeline is looking strong with several hot prospects bubbling along nicely. We’re confident that we’ll be announcing another deal in the not too distant future.

Simon Quarendon

Simon Quarendon is a veteran marketer and communicator with a career spanning nearly 40 years. He has bought, built, sold, rescued, led and mentored just about every kind of creative communications agency in existence and run global accounts for the best in the world. Today, Simon runs the business end of Selbey Anderson, working across the group to make sure clients get the best and the agencies all prosper.