Invest & Fully Commit if You Serve a Niche


Target marketWhen WPP purchased the Ogilvy Group in 1987, Ogilvy employees George Sard and Paul Verbinnen left to create their own PR firm. Today, Sard Verbinnen includes 110 spin masters and is the #1 PR firm in mergers & acquisitions. They have been involved with an astonishing 45 M&A transactions that totaled $71 Bil during the first half of 2013.

An article by Nick Summers in the August 12- 25, 2013 issue of BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK reminded me where I had heard the name “SARD”.

Think about famous court cases involving Wall Street moguls. If you look closely at press photographs, you’ll see George Sard in the background behind Fabrice Tourre of Goldman Sachs, Stephen Cohen of hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, people from DELL Computers re. a possible takeover, and folks from AIR Products and Chemicals when they responded to hedge funder, Bill Ackman’s $2.2 Bil investment. That’s just this year!

There was Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Nelson Peltz from the Heinz proxy battle in 2006, Martha Stewart’s insider trader charges in 2004, and Joseph Jett of Kidder Peabody in 1994. Sard & Verbinnen know enough about the Wall Street M&A community, they became THE experts in M&A crisis and reputation management.

Your company’s favorite target market might not be as contentious or volatile as Sard and Verbinnen’s. The stakes might not be as high in your favorite industry niche, but we can all learn from their journey. What would your company need to do to become THE TOP EXPERTS in your favorite industry niche?  And would you dig, invest, and commit enough to become THE GO TO company for that industry?  PR isn’t the only service niche industries need.  Could your company excel at sourcing or transporting products? Should your company recruit or train hard to find employees?

Founding The Service Industry Fund™ several years ago was one of those experiences for me.  Our idea surfaced from frustrations expressed by the owner/partners of growing service firms. Investment bankers are reluctant to do non asset based lending plus they have difficulty evaluating the scalability of service firms. Think about it, in the 1990s, most bankers would not have recognized Sard Verbinnen’s growth potential.

Are you looking for pain points in your favorite industry and stepping up to be the solution?

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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