Expert Focus

Corporate & Financial Communications

We work with clients to tell their story – Compellingly. Consistently. Flawlessly. Creatively.

Every company has a story to tell – its strategy for growth and value creation, how it differentiates itself in the market, and the strength and breadth of its leadership team.

And there are a range of audiences – internal and external, as well as the media – to whom clients need to tell their story. Building credibility for leadership and the business. Compellingly. Consistently. Flawlessly. Creatively.

We begin each engagement by understanding a company’s business objectives and strategy, accomplishments and challenges, and the competitive landscape.

We work closely with clients to identify specific communications strategies that support business objectives and enhance management credibility. We develop focused messaging and identify a broad range of effective tactics to reach key stakeholders.

Our approach to media relations supports a company’s long-term interests and advances its business objectives. Often, we augment our clients’ conversations with the media with our long-standing relationships with journalists and editors.

We are adept at deploying a wide range of vehicles and technologies to effectively tell a company’s story. This includes helping companies engage via social media.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • Strategic positioning
  • Complex disclosures
  • Media relations
  • Media training
Specialized Investor Relations

A trusted advisor in engaging investors and the rest of the financial community.

We are a trusted advisor to public companies seeking to differentiate themselves from competitors, build and maintain a stable shareholder base, and earn an appropriate valuation.

Kekst works with management teams and investor relations professionals to build and implement programs that engage current and potential shareholders, equity analysts, corporate governance and proxy advisory firms, rating agencies, and others.

Our investor relations work is focused on key areas:

  • Positioning and Disclosure
  • Outreach and Targeting
  • Intelligence

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • Ongoing positioning and disclosures
  • Quarterly and annual reporting
  • Shareholder outreach and targeting
  • Intelligence and best practices
Mergers & Acquisitions

Unparalleled M&A expertise in counselling clients through a transformative event.

In every respect, merger & acquisition transactions can be transformative for a company – its shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Success is driven by more than a set of headlines on announcement day. It involves a positive reception within the business and financial markets upon announcement, flawless operational execution, and a smooth path to a timely closing.

Throughout, clients need to clearly and powerfully communicate the strategic rationale of their transaction to all the stakeholders essential to its success.

Over the last two decades, Kekst has advised clients on more M&A transactions than any other PR consultancy. We have been involved in transactions in every sector, have expertise in both friendly and hostile deals, working both for acquirers – strategic and financial – and sellers.

We are actively involved in all phases of the transaction, from conception and planning to announcement, implementation and post-merger integration. Our work often includes:

  • Help build confidence among shareholders in a company’s ability to deliver value, including integrating the transaction successfully to achieve long-term growth.
  • Engage with the media to ensure coverage reflects the strategic rationale and industrial logic of the proposed combination.
  • Demonstrate to customers that service, product quality and innovation will continue uninterrupted and improve over the long term.
  • Help move employees from uncertainty and concern about changes that might affect them to confidence in the future and engagement in the process.
  • Effectively address potential political and community concerns, including understanding and planning for successfully securing antitrust and other regulators clearances.

When our clients are the targets of unsolicited takeover attempts, we work closely with them and their advisors to fight back. A successful takeover defense requires the strongest strong case for the merits of the company’s chosen strategy, and the board’s and management’s ability to maximize value for shareholders.

Our expertise in M&A includes representing buyers and sellers in transactions on every continent.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst

  • Friendly domestic and international combinations
  • Unsolicited takeover defense and hostile acquisitions
  • Post-merger integration and change management
  • Strategic investments
Shareholder Activism & Corporate Governance

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

Kekst has unparalleled experience in helping companies prepare for and respond effectively to activist investors and their agendas.

When activists apply pressure behind the scenes or wage highly visible proxy contests, Kekst works closely with a company – and its legal and financial advisors – to communicate its position strategically and effectively.

Sometimes these situations require finesse. Other times it requires forceful advocacy. We understand the need for nuance and that winning an activist campaign requires a strategic approach to communications over time. And we have worked – repeatedly – against every major activist investor, and understand their unique styles and communications posture.

In either case, we help companies clearly articulate their own plans for future value creation, and, when relevant, shine a light on flaws in the dissident’s agenda or its credibility.

Our team works collaboratively with clients and their advisors to ensure effective preparation and readiness.

In addition to activist work, we advise boards of directors and senior management teams on a range of corporate governance matters, including:

  • Succession planning and management transition announcements
  • Education of Board members and issues management on hot-topic resolutions
  • Executive compensation
  • Board-initiated audits and investigations

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • Engagement, behind-scenes agitation and proxy contests
  • Scenario planning
  • Shareholder proposals and issues
  • Governance issues
IPOs & Spinoffs

A proven partner to companies going public, spinning off, or undertaking other capital markets activities.

We partner with companies on their strategic positioning and investor relations work prior to going public – when companies are considering and/or pursuing IPOs, spinoffs or other capital markets-related initiatives.

Having worked on dozens of IPOs, spinoffs and other equity and debt offerings, our team is highly experienced in creating and implementing programs that are compliant with legal restrictions and include communications which:

  • Define a company’s competitive advantages, operational and financial goals and related metrics and parameters for measuring progress – ensuring clear differentiation from peers;
  • Establish credibility for the company and its leadership team among members of the investment community;
  • Help target potential investors.

Our work extends through all phases of a public listing – from preparation through the emergence as a public company:

  • Development of core definitional documents and communications strategy;
  • Training and educating relevant employees on life as a public company, ensuring clarity of disclosure guidelines;
  • Managing communications through the quiet period;
  • Supporting pricing and listing day activities including strategic media opportunities; and,
  • Establishing format and protocols for the communication of quarterly results.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • Initial listings
  • 144a investments
  • Spinoffs and divestitures
  • Preparation for life as a public company
Crisis Communications

Facing enterprise-level threats: Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

Kekst has long provided clients the counsel and hands-on support they need to navigate crises or other unexpected business challenges that threaten reputation, shareholder value and future business prospects.

We act as a steady and experienced partner to management, Board, and communications leadership to respond to a situation in an integrated way. We assist in communicating through the specific circumstances, and anticipating and preparing for future developments.

Our decades-long track record of helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in these challenging situations speaks for itself. Our experience in crisis communications is unmatched, with involvement in virtually every type of crisis and problem, in every industry.

These include:

  • Accounting irregularities, and balance sheet and liquidity issues
  • Cybersecurity incidents and data breaches
  • Management changes or succession issues
  • Regulatory investigations and settlements
  • Product recalls and liability matters
  • Environmental and operational accidents
  • Facility safety and workplace issues
  • Consumer, environmental and other NGO-driven campaigns
  • Workforce reductions and labor disputes
  • Sexual harassment and racial discrimination issues
  • Executive or other employee malfeasance

Additionally, some of our most important work in crisis communications occurs when a company is operating normally. We conduct audits to help ensure that clients have sound communications plans so they are ready to respond quickly and effectively to any situation.

We also design and facilitate crisis simulations to help clients identify and plan for strategic, operational and financial risks and ensure preparedness. And we provide crisis communications management training and media training for executive teams.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • Responding to unexpected enterprise threats and business challenges
  • Dealing with widest range of internal and external challenges
  • Team preparation and training
  • Crisis audits, planning and simulations
Bankruptcy & Restructurings

The leader in working with debtors in all types of restructurings.

Distressed companies – large and small, and across nearly every industry – have consistently sought Kekst’s extensive experience in navigating the communications challenges of complex balance sheet recapitalizations, out-of-court debt reorganizations, and Chapter 11 restructurings – consensual (pre-packs or pre-agreed) and contested.

Our team has been involved in many of the largest, most-complex and highest profile Chapter 11 cases in history.

Our work with clients focuses on two intertwined but distinct areas:

  • The messages the company deploys in a restructuring; and
  • The comprehensive and multi-stakeholder communications program a debtor needs to implement.

We help clients develop and implement comprehensive programs to build stability and credibility among their key audiences at a time of potential disruption and then throughout the restructuring process and business transformation.

Our work has often included restructurings with significant international components – either in terms of operations, supply chain, or different jurisdictions -- where cultural and language differences often create unique communications circumstances.

We have also combined our expertise in restructurings with our extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions to assist clients involved in Section 363 transactions, or in resisting unsolicited acquisition attempts during the Chapter 11 process.

In addition to its debtor work, Kekst has represented creditors or groups of creditors in the restructuring process, including adversarial situations, as well as working with key stakeholders in the largest and most visible Chapter 9 municipal restructurings.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • U.S. Chapter 11 filings and international insolvencies
  • Consensual (pre-packs and pre-agreed) filings
  • Out-of-court balance sheet recapitalizations and debt reorganizations
  • Debtor and creditor representations
Litigation & Regulatory Support

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

Clients faced with a high-stakes litigation action, complex regulatory investigation or challenging settlements rely on our firm’s extensive experience and knowledge to make a difference.

Over the years, Kekst professionals have been involved in some of the most high-profile litigation matters, working against some of the most aggressive counter-parties as well as some of the most media-savvy plaintiffs’ lawyers.

We have also counseled clients engaged in complex regulatory investigations and settlements. These have involved, among others, the SEC, DOJ, DEA, FDA, GSA and state attorneys general, as well as preparing for Congressional investigations and hearings.

Working closely with our client’s in-house legal team, senior management and, importantly, outside counsel, Kekst prepares customized communications strategies, plans, messaging, and tactics for engaging with the media and affected stakeholders directly.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

  • High-profile litigation
  • Class action and shareholder lawsuits
  • Complex regulatory investigations, court proceedings and settlements
  • State and Congressional investigations and hearings
Alternative Investments

Vast experience working with Private Equity and Hedge Funds on ongoing positioning and special situations.

Kekst has been the strategic communications partner of choice to many leading private equity firms and hedge funds since the earliest days of the alternative investment sector. Our clients range across the spectrum of size, strategy, industry focus and geography.

While some firms choose to be highly visible and others prefer minimal public attention, all recognize that in the current highly-competitive business environment it is critical to manage and actively think about their communications profile in the media and with the audiences that matter.

We develop custom-tailored programs to build and preserve investment firms’ reputations and help achieve their business objectives. That can include strengthening deal flow, increasing awareness within the institutional investor community, supporting investment activities, or recruiting outstanding professionals.

Kekst is distinguished by our deep understanding of the sector’s workings and we assist our clients in the following ways:

  • Strategic Positioning
  • Transaction and Product Announcements
  • Media Relations
  • Crisis Communications
  • Investor Relations

The excellent relationships we have developed with the media covering private equity, hedge funds and related areas are brought to bear in our client work.

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.

5 Communications Principles PE Firms Need To Know

Learn more

  • Private Equity
  • Hedge funds
  • Portfolio company support and special situations
  • LP and investor communications
Kekst Intelligence, Research, and Analysis (KIRA)

Actionable primary and secondary research and analysis to inform strategy.

Many clients consider the Kekst Intelligence, Research and Analysis (KIRA) team an extension of their own – creative, responsive, and reliable.

KIRA is dedicated to delivering customized, actionable research and insights that answer questions, inform strategy, and ensure client success.

Drawing on deep analytical and research expertise and innovative thinking, our diverse team of analysts and consultants collaborate with clients to meet their specific needs. Our proven approach and advanced technologies enable us to generate a wide spectrum of insights from one-off research reports to longer-term projects.

Our research capacities and experience include:

  • Specialized media monitoring and analysis;
  • Custom monitoring dashboard development;
  • Stakeholder and investor perception surveys;
  • Deep-dive SWOT and best practice analysis;
  • Competitor benchmarking;
  • Reputation Analysis;
  • Investor targeting;
  • Research on business precedents;
  • Stakeholder and influencer identification and mapping;
  • White papers on timely topics;
  • Electronic editorial newsletters tracking and analyzing trends or issues;
  • Reference database development

Experienced. Effective. Proven judgment. Kekst.