Gagen’s Pioneering Human-Centered Approach Will Stimulate Deeper Insights and Solutions to Help Clients Accelerate Positive Change and Transformation

Riyadh: APCO Worldwide, a global advisory and advocacy consultancy, acquired Gagen MacDonald, a human-focused transformation consulting firm, joining two independent and pioneering woman-owned companies together to bring deeper stakeholder insights and expertise to help organizations achieve their vision for positive change and transformation, APCO Founder and Chairman Margery Kraus announced today.

“The strengths and cultures of APCO and Gagen MacDonald are incredibly complementary and we both have a strong focus on collaboration, empathy and client excellence,” Kraus said. “The demand for human-centered transformation is more important than ever before and our clients are asking us increasingly to help with these transformations and their implications on employee engagement, internal culture and connection to purpose, reputation and business performance. I could not think of a better firm than Gagen MacDonald to grow APCO’s capabilities as we guide clients in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and MENA through transition.”

Founded 25 years ago by Founder and CEO Maril MacDonald, Gagen MacDonald is a trusted partner to the C-suite, bringing multi-disciplinary capabilities and critical human-centered insights to connect an organization’s strategy, structure and culture. Gagen MacDonald has established long-standing relationships with the world’s most recognized and admired organizations across myriad industry and non-profit focus areas, helping them shape cultures, deepen employee engagement, and accelerate business outcomes through every type of change and transformation, including some of the largest and most complex M&A transactions over the last several decades.

With a long history of working side-by-side on critical client issues, APCO’s acquisition of Gagen MacDonald delivers immediate synergies and scales up APCO’s advisory capabilities in change management and internal communications in MENA and globally.

“Margery and I have been dreaming for decades about the significant impact we could create through blending our respective areas of expertise,” MacDonald said. “This new relationship gives us a broader collaborative platform and opens up a vast new world of ideas and solutions we can offer our clients as we help them navigate the world we know now and shape the world that is coming.”

With the acquisition, Gagen MacDonald will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of APCO, led by Maril MacDonald as its CEO. MacDonald will become a member of APCO’s Global Leadership Team and join APCO’s Board of Directors.

“This is a genuine gamechanger moment for our emerging practice here in GCC,” commented Tim Walmsley, MENA lead of Change Management at APCO, “and supercharges our offering through Gagen MacDonald’s deep technical expertise, broad sectoral experience gained from a global client portfolio of top companies and array of specialist talent. We now represent an 85-strong team across MENA and beyond and will build out rapidly from our current strengths. The Vision programmes in the Gulf are multi-decade, multi-dimensional transformation programmes. They are unique in scale and speed. This is an enormous opportunity.”

Gagen MacDonald’s deep expertise in transformation, employee engagement and internal culture further augments APCO’s world-class corporate advisory suite of services that deliver end-to-end solutions to empower C-suite clients to create positive change externally while understanding and addressing the shifting expectation and dynamics of its employees and internal culture. Gagen MacDonald’s experts will join APCO’s MENA advisory and programme teams based in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

About APCO Worldwide:

APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy helping leading public and private sector organizations be catalysts for progress by navigating the challenges of today, acting with agility, anticipating social risk and building organizational reputations, relationships and solutions to succeed. APCO is an independent and majority women-owned business.