Kekst and Company: Old-Time Principles and Success
Kekst and Company organized forty-five years ago, holding stringent beliefs in the primacy of the client above all else. Every new client receives the benefit of a fresh perspective, using the firm’s impressive experience and judgment earned while providing business on the front lines facing difficult and obstinate business issues. They approach each client on a case by case basis, because every client is new, and their business needs unique.
This fully-customizable method allows adaptability to every client’s communications requirements. Kekst takes pride in maintaining the highest standard of excellence throughout each assignment.
To ensure a smooth and professional experience, Kekst keeps every team member assigned on the case until completing the engagement. Drawing on the skill sets of other members of the firm when necessary, giving the client benefit of all Kekst’s experience.
Gershon Kekst with wife Carol
Heritage and Philosophy of Kekst
Founded by Gershon Kekst in 1970, the firm played exemplar in strategic and financial communications. For almost half of the twentieth century and beyond, Kekst maintained its founding philosophy of putting the client’s needs first, and understanding the unique challenge and opportunity in every case, and to keep partnerships close to deliver their very best experience and judgment.
During the early years, they leveraged investor relations and strategic positions in close ties to law firms and investment banks during hostile and friendly transactions, assisting clients through the shockwaves of M&A activity.
As time passed, Kekst expanded to include communications and offered increasingly specialized services.
Kekst continues expanding its team of proven senior communications counselors and offers expertise in brash new frontiers of strategic communications such as shareholder activism and cyber security.
Kekst – Practice and Focus
Kekst specializes in corporate and financial communications, specialized investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism and corporate governance, IPOs and spin-offs, crisis communications, bankruptcy and restructurings, litigation and regulatory support, alternative investments, and Kekst intelligence, research and analysis (KIRA).
Noted Clients and History
Sine past and present clients include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Anheuser-Busch, McGraw-Hill, Lipton Rosen & Katz, Chrysler, and Citigroup. In 2008, the large French advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe announced its acquisition of Kekst and Company as a subsidiary.
Of the acquisition, Publicis Groupe’s CEO Maurice Lévy said: “We are investing in Kekst and Company…because of the depth of its professional capability and its future growth potential…I am very pleased that Kekst and Company will continue to be led by my good friend and trusted advisor, Gershon Kekst, as well as the senior leadership that has built Kekst since its founding. We view this as an extremely important addition to our Groupe’s capabilities and its strategy to provide clients around the world with the highest-quality communications services possible.”
While Kekst and Company willingly take on new challenges with the very best in market competency, the question of ethics leaves them a smidgen gray. Volkswagen, an automotive company needing no introduction, hired a quartet of PR firms to help them respond to their series of major PR crisis. In their biggest scandal of 78 years of operation, Volkswagen admitted to intentionally distorting its emissions test results to pass American environmental requirements.
Over 11 million cars with “defeat devices” software installed altering test results for the automaker’s benefit. Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen, resigned recently conceding to this public issue.“The test manipulations created a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen,” decreed Volkswagen deputy chairman Berthold Huber. “The unlawful behavior of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public.”
A reputed and informed observer commented when it comes to a scandal’s worldwide implications, the stakes could not be higher. “This is not just a crisis of a major industrial firm. It’s gone way beyond that, it could affect the German economy.”