Mark Penn, co-founder of Penn Schoen Berland and currently a senior exec at Microsoft, is leaving to found an investment company, Stagwell Group LLC, focused on digital marketing services.
According to the Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com ), the new venture has raised $250 million in funding, with investors including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; and has the leverage to make up to $750m in acquisitions. Penn says it will focus on 'digital-first' companies that use technology and data to inform creative work - this may include advertising, research, data analytics and public relations.
He comments: 'There's a lot of room for new blood in the advertising and marketing industry. Every client is looking for how to combine good advertising creative with good data analytics. I don't think they're getting those answers from the companies they've got, even if they've got some of the biggest companies in the world'.