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Stein IAS Rob Morrice B2B Marketing

Stein IAS officially merges following two year joint venture


By Minda Smiley, Reporter

December 1, 2015 | 4 min read

IAS and Stein + Partners Brand Activation have now officially merged following two years operating within a joint venture as they aim to create "the most important global B2B marketing agency in the world."

The two agencies, which re-branded together as Stein IAS in March 2013 and legally merged through holding company MSQ Partners last month, together hope that the consolidated shop will become a powerhouse in the business-to-business marketing world.

Rob Morrice, who joined 42-year-old IAS in 2008 as managing director and is now CEO of Stein IAS, told The Drum that prior to the venture, “we were known in the B2B marketplace as the private agencies who are leading the way in innovation in Europe and the US.”

Tom Stein, who in 1986 founded what would become SPBA and currently serves as chairman of Stein IAS, said the joint venture provided both agencies with the opportunity to integrate models and capabilities that were already aligned to begin with. Stein told The Drum that the plan was to complete a full financial transaction when the two firms were optimally ready to do so rather than jumping into a merger from the get-go.

“It was a bit of a different approach but conscious and planned from the outset,” he explained, adding that the structure helped them integrate in a more considerate fashion.

According to Morrice, each agency was bringing in about $6m in revenues before pairing up. He said that Stein IAS is now bringing in approximately $15m.

“We have gone on quite a successful business run where we have taken the individual revenues of the two companies and made them one,” he said, adding that over the past two and a half years the whole has become worth more than the sum of its parts.

Now that Stein IAS is officially a global agency, with offices in New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Manchester and most recently San Francisco, both Morrice and Stein cite what they call the “one agency approach” as a crucial aspect of their growth strategy and future success.

Stein said that the one agency approach involves using the collective resources of all its offices to best service clients, which include Castrol, Samsung, Juniper Networks and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

“When you think about agencies that have multiple offices in different geographies, the typical model is that agencies will almost run their individual offices as independent profits and losses,” he said, adding that he thinks this strategy is no longer fit for today’s environment since nearly every brand has needs in various markets.

Instead of focusing on proximity to client, Morrice said that the agency gathers people from across its branches who have the most experience in said sector and the kind of work that the shop is doing for the brand while leveraging its “big virtual office” to best serve companies wherever they may be.

Stein IAS Rob Morrice B2B Marketing

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