The formal announcement of a merger is the latest step in a strategic partnership between the firms, which started three years ago. The move will trigger a rebranding of Activate, which will begin operating as BrandAlliance by early 2016. Moving forward, Marc Roy, formerly the CEO of BrandAlliance, will take on the new role of executive chairman of A Brand Company. His daily focus will be North American sales and marketing. Fred Parker will remain president and CEO of A Brand Company, with the primary responsibility of operations and finance for North America.
“This merger will maximize the benefit of our partnership with not only our clients but our valued suppliers as well,” said Roy. “We are now positioned for growth not only in North America, but globally, over the long term. As we grow, we will be able to provide new and unique solutions to our clients.”
Added Parker in a statement: “From the onset, both companies were keenly aware of the coming shifts to the global marketplace. Large organizations are now viewing North America as a single, seamless spend. We have positioned ourselves ahead of this trend, and this merger is a byproduct of that collective foresight.”
With the merger, A Brand Company’s newly-established nine-person board of directors will include six inside directors and three outside directors. The company will maintain corporate offices in Toronto and Charlotte. In its most recent Top 40 rankings, Counselor listed BrandAlliance as the 29th largest distributor in the industry, after the firm reported 2014 North American ad specialty sales of $59.7 million.