MDC Partners

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MDC Partners Inc.
Multi Discipline Communications
Traded asNASDAQMDCA (Class A)
Russell 2000 Component
Industryadvertising, public relations, marketing
FoundedDecember 19, 1986; 32 years ago (1986-12-19)
FounderMiles Nadal
New York City, United States
Area served
Key people
RevenueUS$1.326 billion (2015)
Number of employees
5,690 (2016)[1]

MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQMDCA) is an advertising and marketing holding company based in New York City.[2] MDC is structured as a partnership model, in which it initially acquires a majority stake in its partner agency, leaving a percentage of ownership with the founder. It has more than 50 partner firms worldwide.[3]


MDC Partners was founded as Multi Discipline Communications in 1980[4] in Toronto by Miles Nadal.[5][6] The company held an IPO on October 16, 1987.[7]

The company operated two divisions in the 1990s: Marketing and Communications and Secure Transaction Products, which included the production of checks, credit and debit cards, tickets, and stamps. Toward the end of the 1990s, MDC concentrated on growing its marketing and communications business. It continued to expand into the United States, surpassing CAD$1 billion in revenue in 2000 through acquisitions and organic growth.[8][7]

In 2001, MDC formed its first partnership with the agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.[9]

In January 2004, the company changed its name to MDC Partners Inc.[10]

In 2008, MDC became the first advertising company to build a capability designed for automated, or programmatic media trading, with the formation of Varick Media Management.[11]

The company acquired Anomaly in 2010 and 72andSunny in 2011.[12]

On July 21, 2015, Miles Nadal announced his resignation as CEO in response to an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding executive pay and accounting practices. Nadal agreed to pay back $1.9 million in expenses and $10.6 million in salary and bonuses. He did not receive any severance or compensation for resigning. Chief accounting officer Michael Sabatino also announced his resignation and would reportedly repay $208,000 in bonuses.[13][13][14] MDC’s presiding director of the board, Scott Kauffman, succeeded Miles Nadal as Chairman and CEO.[15][16]

In December 2015, the company ranked 8th in Advertising Age’s global ranking of Agency Networks, by cumulative award wins.[17] In June 2016, MDC announced the first acquisition under Kauffman of Swedish creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors, forming a strategic partnership with sister agency CP+B.[18]

In April 2018, MDC acquired a 51% majority stake in digital creative agency, Instrument for an undisclosed amount.[19]

In March 2019, Mark Penn was named CEO of MDC Partners, and The Stagwell Group invested $100 million in the company. [20]


Company overview[edit]

MDC Partners is a global advertising holding company that invests in agency partners in the areas of advertising, marketing, media management, technology, analytics and consumer insights, direct marketing, and strategic consulting.[21][22] The company is headquartered in New York City and also operates a corporate office in Toronto, where it was founded.[23] It earned approximately US$1.33 billion in revenue 2015.[24]

MDC typically invests in creative and digital firms.[25][7] Historically, it invested in agencies during times when similar companies have scaled back on acquisitions.[12] While the company has mainly invested in North American small to mid-sized agencies,[25] it extended onto new global markets in the 2010s.[7] As of 2015, 9% of the company’s revenue came from outside North America.[26]

MDC does not generally acquire agencies outright, but instead partners with agency management by acquiring a 51 to 80 percent initial stake.[8][7] Instead of integrating the firms, acquired agencies continue to manage their own day-to-day operations.[27][7] MDC provides support to the agencies in which it has invested including business strategy and financial resources.[27] It operates a Strategic Resources Group, which supports the development of partner agencies.[28][3][26] In 2004, Adweek called the company an "anti-holding company".[8]

Partner Companies[edit]

Major holdings include over 50 advertising and marketing firms:[29][30]

  • 6 Degrees
  • 72andSunny
  • Albion
  • Albion Drive
  • Allison+Partners
  • Anomaly
  • Antidote 360
  • Assembly
  • Attention
  • BOOM Marketing
  • BORN A.I.
  • Bruce Mau Design
  • Colle McVoy
  • Concentric Health Experience
  • CP+B
  • Cultura United Agency
  • Doner
  • Exponent Public Relations
  • Forsman & Bodenfors
  • Gale Partners
  • Hello Design
  • HL Group
  • Hudsun Media
  • Hunter Public Relations
  • kbs+
  • Instrument
  • Kenna
  • Kingsdale Shareholder Services
  • Kwittken
  • Laird+Partners
  • Legend
  • Luntz Global
  • MDC Media Partners
  • mono
  • Northstar
  • Path Worldwide
  • Real Interactive
  • Redscout
  • Relevent
  • Sloane & Company
  • Source
  • TEAM Enterprises
  • The Media Kitchen
  • TradeX Partners
  • Unique Influence
  • Varick
  • Veritas Communications
  • Y Media Labs


  1. ^ "MDCA Company Profile". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  2. ^ Eric Lam (12 November 2013). "MDC Partners Soars Selling Burgers on Facebook". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Nathalie Tadena (26 February 2016). "MDC Partners' New CEO Tries to Turn the Page After Tumultuous Stretch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of MDC Partners Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  5. ^ Jeff Beer (16 November 2011). "Is this guy a mad man?". Canadian Business. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  6. ^ International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. 2004. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Susan Krashinsky (29 May 2014). "MDC's challenge: 'Everything you know about advertising is going to be useless on Monday'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  8. ^ a b c International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. 2004. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  9. ^ Stuart Elliott (1 July 2010). "Bogusky, Creative Ad Star, Is Leaving Advertising". Media Decoder. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Company Description". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  11. ^ "The First Advertising Hedge Fund". AdWeek. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  12. ^ a b Rupal Parekh (9 March 2011). "Miles Nadal on How His Holding Company Handles Recruitment". Advertising Age. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  13. ^ a b Tadena, Nathalie. "MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal Steps Down Amid SEC Investigation". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  14. ^ "MDC Partners' Stock Plummets After News of SEC Probe Into CEO's Expenses". AdWeek. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  15. ^ Natalie Zmuda (21 July 2015). "Ten Things You Don't Know About MDC's New CEO". Advertising Age. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Scott Kauffman Appointed Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners; Miles Nadal Retires; Company Reaffirms Annual Guidance". PR Newswire. 2015-07-20. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  17. ^ "The Awards Report 2015". Advertising Age. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  18. ^ Suzanne Vranica (29 June 2016). "MDC to Buy Swedish Agency Forsman & Bodenfors". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  19. ^ Inc., MDC Partners. "MDC Partners Enters into Strategic Partnership with Instrument, a Leading Independent Digital Agency". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  20. ^ {{Cite web|url= Penn’s Stagwell Group Takes Stake in MDC Partners|date=14 March 2019|work=The Wall Street Journal|author=Alexandra Bruell
  21. ^ Eric Lam (12 November 2013). "MDC Partners Soars Selling Burgers on Facebook". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Company Description". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  23. ^ Jason Tannahill (16 October 2015). "MDC Partners Trying to Repair the Damage". Everything PR. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  24. ^ Alexandra Bruell (19 February 2016). "MDC Stock Up Almost 10% Day After Reporting Fourth-Quarter Earnings". Advertising Age. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  25. ^ a b Rupal Parekh (10 May 2010). "MDC CEO on Spending Sprees, Selling Potential and Why U.S. Is Best". Advertising Age. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  26. ^ a b Douglas Quenqua (29 February 2016). "MDC chief Scott L. Kauffman puts a new face on Nadal's vision". Campaign. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  27. ^ a b Jeff Beer (16 November 2011). "Is this guy a mad man?". Canadian Business. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  28. ^ Kristina Monllos (11 August 2014). "Lori Senecal Named President, CEO of the MDC Partner Network Ed Brojerdi takes the reins of kbs+". Adweek. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  29. ^ "MDC Partners Acquires Majority Stake in PR Firm". Everything-PR: Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  30. ^ "Agencies". MDC Partners. Retrieved 2016-04-23.

External links[edit]