Partners + Napier Expands Via Acquisition Of Roberts Communications

As part of its long-term strategic growth plan – and in keeping with its determination to challenge the status quo – Rochester Chamber Partner member Partners + Napier is acquiring select clients, talent, and capabilities of Roberts Communications.

“This deal grew out of a long-standing relationship between two agencies that are both committed to doing great work for clients that deliver results. It was a natural next step in our growth and will add to our already stellar credentials in the health and wellness, food and beverage, and financial services categories,” said Partners + Napier founder and CEO Sharon Napier, who will continue in that role.

The acquisition also enhances and expands upon Partners + Napier’s existing relationships with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Univera Healthcare, and Xerox, while adding two new clients to its roster: ITT and Jewish Senior Life. A significant number of Roberts employees will move to Partners + Napier, part of the independent Project Worldwide network, ensuring a seamless transition for these five clients. They will also help expand agency credentials in the digital experience, analytics, social media and public relations arenas.

In recognition of her expanded role following this acquisition, Courtney Cotrupe – who has been managing director of Partners + Napier – is being promoted to president of the agency. She and Executive Creative Director Pete VonDerLinn will continue to report to Napier. Senior Roberts’ leader Katrina Busch is joining Partners + Napier as SVP/group account director, reporting to Cotrupe.

Bill Murtha, Roberts CEO, will serve as transition consultant for Partners + Napier to ensure the successful integration of Roberts clients and people into the combined organization. Murtha plans to retire in 2018 from the advertising business to pursue personal interests including writing, consulting and teaching. Other key Roberts executives, including Stu Norris, EVP and chief operating officer, and Bruce Kielar, EVP and chief creative officer, and other staff, will fulfill commitments to clients not transitioning to Partners + Napier.

The negotiations were led by Napier and Murtha, both of whom had worked together more than 20 years ago as senior leaders at Eric Mower & Associates and have been friends since.

“Roberts had reached a point where being part of a bigger agency with a deep commitment to creating effective work, expanded resources, and more opportunities made sense,” said Murtha. “We’re enormously proud of all that Roberts has accomplished over the years, and remain committed to making sure there is an absolutely seamless transition for our clients and our people.”

Roberts employees who are joining Partners + Napier will ultimately move into Partners + Napier’s building in the High Falls area of Rochester.

“We’re very excited about this next chapter. We have a great team and this acquisition further fuels our growth and momentum,” said Cotrupe. “With additional talent and capabilities, we can provide even more value to clients. The market doesn’t stop evolving – and neither will we.”