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First Protocol acquires New York agency Barkley Kalpak

Acquisition, part of First Protocol's growth plan, takes total workforce to 185 worldwide

Pictured: Jeff Kalpak

First Protocol has announced the acquisition of Barkley Kalpak Agency (BKA), a creative and experiential agency based in New York. 

London MD Mark Riches hailed the move as a significant step in First Protocol’s growth plan. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Riches said: “First Protocol has been growing organically since inception with expanded service offerings and the development of our managed services model. Joining forces with BKA will further enhance our existing solutions, diversify our client base, and allow us to strategically extend our reach and penetrate new markets.

“We have experienced the creativity and culture BKA has developed over its 25 year history first-hand, while working in partnership on a variety of projects. Both agencies have appeared on the Crain's 'Best Places to Work in New York City' and Event Marketer 'Top 100 Agency It List' lists for the past several years, and we look forward to combining our cultures, forming one international powerhouse agency. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Jeff Kalpak, founder and president of BKA, as First Protocol's new President Americas.”

Maureen Ryan-Fable, CEO Americas at First Protocol, said: “Our two companies share similar cultures and values – putting clients and our people first in all we do. We pride ourselves on both delivering outstanding service and experience to our clients.”

First Protocol, which celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year, specialises in the design and delivery of live events for some of the world’s biggest companies. The firm believes the acquisition will further complement its offerings in strategy, concept development and creative direction, which are strengths of BKA.

“We have known and worked with First Protocol for many years, and we have a shared vision of becoming the best in the industry,” said Jeff Kalpak, BKA president. “We believe the unification of our two companies will uniquely position us as a world-class creative and strategic partner that creates unforgettable event experiences that bring client visions to life.”

The acquisition also increases First Protocol’s total workforce to approximately 185 employees worldwide, approximately 125 of whom are based in New York City. This summer, BKA will relocate its 30 New York-based employees to First Protocol’s offices on 630 Ninth Avenue. Ryan-Fable will continue in her role as CEO Americas at First Protocol and Kalpak will assume the role of president and will join the First Protocol Group Board. 

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