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Burson-Marsteller Acquires Minority Stake In Engage Burson-Marsteller

Engage BM team


Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced it has acquired a minority stake in Engage Burson-Marsteller, its exclusive partner covering Kenya and Tanzania. The award-winning Burson-Marsteller Africa network covers 53 of the 55 countries on the continent.


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“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to ensuring we have a strong presence in every region where our clients need world-class strategic counsel and cutting-edge integrated communications services,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Kenya is the biggest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa, and the acquisition of a minority stake in our partner there demonstrates our commitment to offering communications services in this important country.”


Robyn de Villiers, Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller Africa added “Our Africa strategy provides for us to strengthen our longstanding partnerships across the continent in a structured way, helping our partners to achieve their business objectives as we achieve ours. Our team at Engage Burson-Marsteller, led by Desiree Gomes, has established a highly regarded and successful business in a competitive market over the past three years and I am thrilled that we have moved this important step closer.”


“Over the past three years we have been able to draw on Burson-Marsteller’s global insights and knowledge, and couple it with my teams’ communications experience in East Africa. I am delighted that, with this step, Engage Burson-Marsteller is moving even closer to the Burson-Marsteller brand and network,” said Desiree Gomes, Managing Partner of Engage Burson-Marsteller.


In 2014, Burson-Marsteller rebranded the network it acquired in 2011 to Burson-Marsteller Africa and simultaneously announced branded partner offices in 27 countries. Later that year, that number increased to 29 with the signing of two additional affiliate partnership contracts, both of which had been long-standing exclusive affiliates. In October, the firm announced the addition of seven branded partners to the Burson-Marsteller Africa network, bringing the total to 36. Engage Burson-Marsteller is the second investment on the continent.


The Burson-Marsteller Africa network is headquartered in Johannesburg and continues to be run by Robyn de Villiers, who founded the network over 25 years ago. It was named African Agency Network of the Year at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on November 23rd, for the second consecutive year.


Burson-Marsteller Africa is the pre-eminent African public relations network. Through its network of partners in 53 of the 55 African countries – 36 of them branded Burson-Marsteller – it offers an unequalled footprint and a tailored for Africa approach tested over 20+ years that combines local agency insight and connectivity with seamless project delivery driven out of South Africa. Burson-Marsteller Africa is the only network to have been a finalist in all eight years of The Holmes Report African Consultancy of the Year Award and includes four winners in its ranks. Burson-Marsteller Africa also received the Financial Mail AdFocus 2015 African Network of the Year Award and won the Gold Award for the 2016 African Network of the Year at the South African PRISM Awards. The network’s founder, Robyn de Villiers, was awarded a SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in 2016 for her contribution to the Public Relations industry across Africa. She is the first African to be recognised with one of these awards. For more information, please visit bm-africa.com.


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