Teneo Holdings: The PR Firm With $250,000 Monthly Retainers
Teneo is a corporate advisory firm offering services to Fortune 500 companies, governments, philanthropies, and high-net-worth individuals. They offer services in the areas of strategy, capital, intelligence, consulting, ventures, sports, digital, governance, talent, restructuring, 360, and diversity & inclusion.
Where is Teneo Holdings today
Teneo opened their doors in 2011 with 20 employees and now have over 500 – almost doubling their numbers during the summer with the acquisition of two U.K. based firms, Blue Rubicon, and StockWell.
Teneo has offices around the world. Their headquarters are in New York City, but other offices include Washington DC, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Dublin, São Paulo, Brussels, London, Beijing, and Dubai. Monthly retainer fees have been known to go as high as $250,000.
Lobbying, Public Affairs, and Political Connections
Much of the help Teneo gives to their clients is affiliated to government and public affairs. That only makes sense with the CEO and President both having deep ties with government.
CEO and Chairman, Declan Kelly served as the U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland beginning in 2009 until 2011 – leaving so he could help open Teneo’s doors. While in the position in Northern Ireland he played a significant role helping transition the country to full charge leadership of their government for the first time in modern history.
President, Douglas Band, worked as an aide in the White House beginning in 1995. In 1999, he was appointed as a Presidential aide to Bill Clinton, the youngest person to be awarded the job for any President. He served as Clinton’s chief advisor from 2002 until 2012 when Clinton severed ties feeling that Band was using the connection too much to promote the business.
Top Political Connections
At times, the firm has used former President Bill Clinton and former British P.M. Tony Blair as advisors. The list of senior advisors currently listed on the firm’s website could just as easily be called a “think tank” because the quality and diversity of members is so high.
In recent months the firm has found themselves in the news for possibly using their extensive political ties too much to advance the interests of their clients, even beyond the Bill Clinton issue.
The most recent problem is about one of Hillary Clinton’s close aides while in the State Department also serving as a part-time advisor to Teneo. Huma Abedin was asked to help a Teneo client obtain an appointment to an unpaid government position.
The only documentation so far is of Teneo asking for help, but none showing that Abedin took any action to support the request.
Adding Sports to the mix
In 2014, the company added their sports advisory business, bringing in Charlie Denson, former Nike executive and big name sports clients LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Other clients represented by Teneo include Facebook, Dow Chemical, Lloyds Bank, Vivendi, Coca-Cola, Alibaba Group, FIFA, and UBS Americas.
Teneo continues to succeed in all their areas of specialization, and we predict more success – regardless of whether there’s another Clinton in the White House in 2016.