Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson strikes merger deal to generate promoting and communications ‘super firm’

Financier and Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson at her downtown Toronto office in 2009.Sheryl Nadler/The World and Mail

Veteran financier and Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson is merging her promoting and communications business with five other agencies to launch a greater corporation with an international arrive at, backed in portion by the Canadian Small business Advancement Fund.

The new company, referred to as Believeco:Companions, will have virtually 300 staff members in seven offices throughout North The us, serving shoppers in a variety of sectors which include know-how, foods, health, agriculture, governing administration and monetary solutions. It is combining Ms. Dickinson’s agency Venture Participate in with major Canadian advertising firms Argyle, Brightworks, Zync, Revolve and Castlemain.

Three manufacturers will arise out of the amalgamation arrangement, which is developed to maintain the independence of the 6 corporations when scaling up their organization beneath the very same banner. Important staff reductions are not envisioned, the corporations said. Believeco:Associates will be headquartered in Calgary.

Ms. Dickinson claimed in an interview that she first conceived the concept for a “super firm” these as Believeco about two a long time ago. She explained it as a way to fill a void in the communications and marketing and advertising area in Canada, which she thinks lacked a distinct voice to serve all pieces of the economy and diversified shoppers with diverse organization lines.

“The way that we’re undertaking this is quite exceptional. We’re nonetheless maintaining the founders of these firms at the wheel, with pores and skin in the sport, committed to the extensive-time period upcoming of their teams and their clients’ organization good results,” Ms. Dickinson instructed The World and Mail. “It’s six companies coming collectively right now, but we absolutely have ideas to purchase other independent corporations in the long run.”

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Toronto-centered Argyle and Vancouver-based mostly Castlemain will stay as stand-alone brand names, drawing on their strengths in various sectors. Castlemain, which has lengthy served Indigenous communities and peoples, will keep on as an advisory firm underneath Rob McPhee as president. Daniel Tisch will continue being chief govt officer of Argyle, an set up title in the tech, monetary products and services and govt sectors.

But Calgary-primarily based Venture Perform, Halifax-dependent Revolve and Toronto companies Zync and Brightworks will all be put together to build a one new manufacturer: Believeco. It will concentration specially on the overall health, wellness and meals and beverage sectors.

Brightworks founder Neil Follett has been appointed as CEO of Believeco. Mr. Follett and Mr. Tisch have also been appointed as controlling companions of Believeco:Associates, even though Ms. Dickinson will act as executive chair of the new mother or father organization for the 3 makes.

George Rossolatos, CEO of the Canadian Small business Advancement Fund, a private equity organization centered in Toronto, explained his crew is a minority trader and will sit on the board for Believeco:Associates. “We’ll depart the operations to the management group, but we’re involved in the significant-stage system, thinking about where by to broaden and how to garner other acquisitions efficiently,” he reported.

Mr. Rossolatos acknowledged that present pressures this sort of as growing inflation, higher fascination fees, a slower economic system and a much better greenback could have an affect on Believeco’s clientele, potentially making its solutions a tougher provide to a broader selection of providers. “We’re in choppy waters, there’s a large amount of volatility out there and this adjustment interval is affecting every person,” he explained.

“But we’re not here for the shorter time period. This is a for a longer time-expression play for us and everybody else on board.”

“In a bizarre way, this downturn is in fact good for us. Businesses tend to need to have much more communications and marketing and advertising services during a recessionary time period – irrespective of whether that is crisis perform, communicating about layoffs or what have you, we communicate their language for them,” Ms. Dickinson claimed.

“There’s normally likely to be ups and downs, now we’re jointly to confront them. And just with the big roster of clients that we have already, we have swiftly turn into a large force to be reckoned with.”