Gould+Partners announced that PR veteran Jack Bergen has been named Strategic Partner of the M&A/management consulting firm. Bergen, who has experience at both the corporate and agency levels, will provide a variety of services catering to creative service agency owners and C-level executives.
“I look forward to bringing corporate HR experience to support Gould+Partners growing M&A practice,” said Bergen. “There’s a growing emphasis on human capital in agency valuations, as well as retaining top talent in post-merger integration.”
Rick Gould, CPA, J.D., managing partner of Gould+Partners, stressed that more and more agencies are seeking the firm’s counsel for integrating the acquired firm into the parent company.
“Having a facilitator and strategist like Jack, a specialist in pre-merger strategy and post-merger integration, will increase the odds that the merger of firms will be successful,” Gould said. “It adds another dimension to our M&A practice. I worked closely with Jack when he was President of the Council of PR Firms and know him to be a brilliant visionary.”
Bergen will develop programs that will help firm owners figure out the most effective ways to compensate key executives, such as equity options and incentive plans. “We can provide a diagnostic approach to determine what works best for the individual firm,” Bergen said.
During his 12 years working in the PR industry, Bergen served as the first President of the Council of PR Firms as well as President of Hill and Knowlton U.S. and CEO of GCI Group. In 2007, the PRSA honored Bergen with the Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement in International Public Relations.
Prior to partnering with Gould+Partners, Bergen was VP of Corporate Projects at Arconic, the aerospace company formed from the separation of Alcoa in 2016. At Alcoa, Bergen was head of global HR and led the company’s Communications and Government Affairs departments.
During his nine-year tenure at Alcoa and Arconic, Bergen founded and managed the Alcoa Academy, which provided leadership training to senior executives, operational managers and emerging leaders throughout the company.
To strengthen Alcoa’s diversity programs, Bergen also established a network of employee resource groups and personally served as the executive sponsor of the African American and Veterans groups.
Bergen, a graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was an Army Ranger and paratrooper and is a Vietnam veteran. After receiving an MA in English from Indiana University, he taught English, philosophy and ethics at West Point. During the Reagan Administration, he was Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s speechwriter.
Bergen is forming an independent firm, Bergen Partners LLC, that will provide executive coaching and talent development for professional services firms.