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APCO Worldwide Acquires Gagen Macdonald, adding Deep Change, Transformation & Employee Engagement Expertise

by | Mar 22, 2023

APCO Worldwide, a global advisory and advocacy consultancy, acquired Gagen MacDonald, a human-focused transformation consulting firm, joining two independent and pioneering woman-owned companies together to bring deeper stakeholder insights and expertise to help organizations achieve their vision for positive change and transformation, APCO Founder and Chairman Margery Kraus announced today.

“The strengths and cultures of APCO and Gagen MacDonald are incredibly complementary, and we both have a strong focus on collaboration, empathy and client excellence,” Kraus said. “The demand for human-centered transformation is more important than ever before and our clients are asking us increasingly to help with these transformations and their implications on employee engagement, internal culture and connection to purpose, reputation and business performance. I could not think of a better firm than Gagen MacDonald to help bolster APCO’s capabilities to guide clients on their transformative journeys.”

Founded 25 years ago by Founder and CEO Maril MacDonald, Gagen MacDonald is a trusted partner to the C-suite, bringing multi-disciplinary capabilities and critical human-centered insights to connect an organization’s strategy, structure and culture. Gagen MacDonald has established long-standing relationships with the world’s most recognized and admired organizations across myriad industry and non-profit focus areas, helping them shape cultures, deepen employee engagement and accelerate business outcomes through every type of change and transformation, including some of the largest and most complex M&A transactions over the last several decades.

With a long history of working side-by-side on critical client issues, APCO’s acquisition of Gagen MacDonald will immediately spur innovative and collaborative solutions to further strengthen advisory capabilities to help clients adapt to a changing world.

“Margery and I have been dreaming for decades about the significant impact we could create through blending our respective areas of expertise,” MacDonald said. “This new relationship gives us a broader collaborative platform and opens up a vast new world of ideas and solutions we can offer our clients as we help them navigate the world we know now and shape the world that is coming.”

With the acquisition, Gagen MacDonald will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of APCO, led by Maril MacDonald as its CEO. MacDonald will become a member of APCO’s Global Leadership Team and join APCO’s Board of Directors.

Gagen MacDonald’s deep expertise in transformation, employee engagement and internal culture further augments APCO’s world-class corporate advisory suite of services that deliver end-to-end solutions to empower C-suite clients to create positive change externally while understanding and addressing the shifting expectations of employees and internal culture.

Gagen MacDonald’s leaders and experts, including Patricia BayerleinHillary GoodmanMolly RauziMichelle TherrienGreg Voeller and Jillane Rochin will collaborate with APCO colleagues around the world, including Kelly Stepno, managing director of Chicago & APCO Midwest; Tina-Marie Adams, head of North America Growth Initiatives; Iris Shaffer, North America Media Relations practice lead; Pete Wentz, executive director in APCO’s Chicago office; Pamela Passman, managing director of New York and head of Corporate; James Robinson, deputy managing director of New York and global lead for Geo-Commerce; Eliot Hoff, global lead of the Crisis practice; Denielle Sachs, global lead of APCO Impact; Mathew Shearman, North America Health practice lead; Emily Scherberth, managing director of APCO West; Kimberly Gardiner, deputy managing director of APCO West; and Tim Walmsley, MENA lead of the Change Management practice.

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