Burrell Communications Group Acquired By FVLCRUM
Revered leadership duo McGhee Osse and Fay Ferguson transition the agency to new CEO
After leading the agency to sustained growth and success since purchasing a majority stake from founder Tom Burrell in 2004, Burrell Communications Group’s Co-CEOs McGhee Osse and Fay Ferguson have announced a transition to new ownership.
Burrell, one of the most highly regarded multicultural advertising agencies in the world, was acquired by an equity consortium led by FVLCRUM Funds (“FVLCRUM”) and Channing Johnson. FVLCRUM is a minority-owned private equity firm based in Rockville, MD that specializes in impact and growth investments, while Johnson is a Los Angeles corporate attorney with decades of experience in media and entertainment. Johnson will serve as Chairman.
Tara DeVeaux, the former CMO of Los Angeles-based Wild Card Creative Group and Managing Director of its creative content division, 3AM, has been named the incoming CEO. Tara has a multifaceted background in advertising, media, and entertainment, with her agency foundation established at Y&R, SpikeDDB, and BBDO where she rose to CMO of the New York office.
“We are truly excited for Burrell’s next chapter,” states Osse. “It was pivotal to Fay and me to transition the company to a team that would be committed to investing in the agency, growing its capabilities and reach in the years ahead and maintaining the talent and culture that makes Burrell special.”
“Having jointly led Burrell for nearly two decades,” added Ferguson, “McGhee and I sought to ensure that the new ownership shared our vision, standard of values, and maintained Burrell’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) designation. We are also thrilled about their selection of Tara as CEO. We’ve gotten to know her throughout this process, and she has shown tremendous energy and enthusiasm coupled with a commitment to the agency’s future.”
“I am excited and inspired by the opportunity to take on this role at what is a pivotal time in Burrell’s history,” says DeVeaux. “With multicultural consumers driving most general market trends, the line between general market and multicultural advertising has never been grayer. Understanding where these consumers are now helps brands to project where they need to be in the near future, and that’s always been Burrell’s strength. I plan to build upon that legacy through a concentrated focus on data to deliver fresh insights and renewed creativity across all platforms so we can continue to be a vital partner in growing our clients’ business.”
Johnson thanked FVLCRUM for sharing his vision and emphasized his key goals are for “Burrell to become the ‘go-to’ agency for brands who recognize the importance of speaking authentically to our growing transcultural world, and to become the destination agency for new talent in the business.” Chijioke Asomugha, Partner of FVLCRUM stated, “Burrell is an iconic company that has helped tell the diverse stories of many respected brands for more than 50 years. FVLCRUM is eager to build upon the impactful legacy of Burrell through this significant equity investment.”
Oaklins DeSilva Phillips acted as financial advisor to Burrell Communications Group, and Loeb & Loeb along with Davis & Gilbert as legal advisors. Vaughan Capital Advisors acted as financial advisor and Katten Muchin Rosenman along with Jones Day acted as legal advisors to FVLCRUM and Channing Johnson in the transaction.
ABOUT BURRELL COMMUNICATIONS GROUP:
Burrell Communications Group was founded in 1971 by renowned ad man Tom Burrell, who led the company for 33 years. Today, Burrell Communications Group is the largest U.S. agency specializing in communications to diverse audiences. The agency boasts a roster of premiere, blue-chip clients that lead in their respective categories, including McDonald’s, Toyota, Comcast, Fidelity, Coca-Cola, FIFCO, and the American Red Cross. For more information, visit burrell.com.
FVLCRUM Partners, d.b.a. FVLCRUM Funds Capital Group, is a private equity firm that intentionally invests in diverse lower-middle market companies to generate sustainable opportunity for underserved communities. Since 2013, the team has provided a capital markets approach to addressing the U.S. racial wealth gap. FVLCRUM has been an innovator in aligning impact and alpha with an emphasis on delivering investment returns and sustainable social change. FVLCRUM’s first fund qualified for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit. For more information, visit www.fvlcrum.com.
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