ifok acquires Hamburg-based communications agency RaikeSchwertner.
With the merger, ifok GmbH expands its agency portfolio and is present with a new location in northern Germany.
In this short interview, our three managing directors explain why ifok and RaikeSchwertner are a very good match.
With the acquisition of RaikeSchwertner, ifok is strengthening its Communications & Campaigns division. What can customers look forward to?
Henning Banthien: ifok merged with the U.S.-based Cadmus Group almost five years ago and has since been on a dynamic growth path. The goal of this growth is to implement larger and more comprehensive processes in shaping social transformation. In this way, we are strengthening our impact on the path to a more sustainable society. Since the merger with Cadmus, ifok has grown strongly organically and almost tripled its headcount. The Communication & Campaigns business unit is in particularly high demand in the market. Because change only happens where people get active and get to work together. To achieve this, we have to reach people, motivate them and show them ways in which they can become effective themselves. That’s where our integrated communications and campaign concepts come in. Together with RaikeSchwertner, we can now offer our clients an even broader portfolio of services from a single source, because with the PR experts from Hamburg we are expanding our agency profile, particularly in the area of digital products and moving images. And the new location brings us closer to our customers in the north of Germany.
Why is RaikeSchwertner the perfect partner for ifok?
Prof. Dr. Dirk Rompf: RaikeSchwertner stands for strategic communication of complex topics and products. For more than 20 years, RaikeSchwertner has been supporting companies and institutions in their communications. Always with an eye on socio-political and economic transformation processes in the consulting fields of energy and environment, industry, infrastructure and real estate, and finance. So there are many parallels to ifok and we are very similar in our mission: to make the world a little better through communication and participation. By leveraging synergies, ifok and RaikeSchwertner will have even greater leverage in shaping socially relevant transformation processes in the future.
In addition, ifok and RaikeSchwertner have already been working together successfully for many years on a wide range of projects focusing on energy and mobility. Among other things, we cooperate on new road construction and expansion projects for the Lower Saxony State Authority for Road Construction and Transport and Autobahn GmbH, as well as on communications support for the Hamburg Port Authority. Joint acquisition successes have also shown that our cooperation is valued by the market and clients.
What impact will the purchase have on existing RaikeSchwertner customer relationships?
Frank von Zukowski: First of all, it is important to us that we take over all RaikeSchwertner employees. We are looking forward to the new colleagues! In this way, we can also ensure that all client projects will be continued unchanged, with the same quality and with the same teams. ifok will take over all current contracts and we will inform all clients promptly about the purchase and the next steps.
The ifok management team will remain unchanged. Wolfgang Raike, RaikeSchwertner shareholder, will leave the operational business, but will remain active as a consultant for ifok. Yvette Richter, a member of the ifok management team, has been responsible for the steadily growing Communications & Campaigns division at ifok since 2017. In the future, she will lead the team together with Alexander Schwertner, who will also join ifok as a member of the Executive Board. More than 80 of ifok’s approximately 260 employees will then work in the Communications & Campaigns division. The team thus ranks among the 20 largest communications agencies in Germany.