CFF Communications – Behind the Scenes #15
Dear All, At times, 2022 felt as if someone had shaken the snow globe. The fall-out from the pandemic had barely settled when business leaders were confronted with the war in the Ukraine, exacerbating inflation and unrest in various stakeholder groups.
When one gust of wind can pick up the snow and blur your vision, it’s safe to say that it is not a good time to find yourself alone in the driver seat. It’s good to have a navigator next to you – an extra pair of eyes, an external perspective, someone who plans ahead and helps you set out the course.
In this holiday period, we look back on the work for our clients with extra pride. We are happy to have been able to support so many clients during this year, with great opportunities and challenges alike. We have further strengthened our team with new hires, and are proud to have Eric Lagerwey join our management team to fit to this larger and broader team.
We’ve provided leaders with timely media insights and profiling opportunities, shared our perspectives in complex, strategic communications dossiers, and provided communications support for some of the largest transactions.
Before you close the office doors and drive off for a much-deserved holiday period, we would love to share with you some of our highlights of 2022.
We wish you all a magical holiday season, and a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year. We’re looking forward to supporting you next year!
On behalf of the whole CFF Communications team,
Supporting a.s.r. with the largest Dutch M&A transaction
We are proud that a.s.r. have been able to support one of the largest M&A transactions in the Dutch market: the merger of Aegon’s Dutch activities with a.s.r. Ever since the long run-up to the IPO in 2016, a.s.r. regularly rely on our expertise and experience. It therefore felt both good and trusted to once again make this announcement successful, together with the various parties involved on the a.s.r. side.
A busy year in private markets
2022 was a busy year for private markets, with investors still seeing plenty of opportunities in a rapidly changing playing field. CFF Communications assisted clients with communication support on growth ambitions, new funds and strategic acquisitions
Among the many transactions we supported, Inflexion announced the acquisition of Dutch-American Enviolo in February. The global market leader for high-quality e-Bike components can use Inflexion’s experience and international network to accelerate its ambitious growth plans. And just before the year-end, Inflexion was also proud to announce to make a minority investment into YER, a leading Netherlands-based specialist secondment and recruiting agency. Gilde Healthcare also started the year strongly, with the healthcare investor raising more than €500 million to invest in profitable companies focused on delivering better care at lower costs. The first investment from the fund followed at the end of August. Sanquin Reagents, a producer and developer of reagents, will be able to develop more affordable products with bigger reach with the expansion of research and manufacturing capabilities.
CNBB Equity Partners led an investment round for portfolio company Spotler Group raising 30 million to accelerate the growth of the marketing technology platform. Keensight Capital supported the buy-and-build strategy of portfolio companies Buckaroo, Symeres and Sogelink and announced several strategic acquisitions in the Benelux. Advent International and Wilbur-Ellis merged their Specialty Chemicals businesses this summer. Operating in Europe under the banner of Rotterdam-based Caldic, the merged company is one of the largest in its sector with a combined turnover of around €3 billion.
Positioning global asset managers in our local market
Against these challenging economic circumstances, CFF supports international asset managers to position their product portfolios, tailor market commentaries for the Dutch market, and jointly develop thought leadership for their equity and fixed income experts on topics including central bank policy, the new pension legislation and the energy transition.
In a column, a Head of Continental Europe at one of our clients explains that Dutch institutional investors have lowered their risk profile in their portfolio in reaction to the higher volatility. A trend towards bond index funds is indicative of this.
One of our clients, one of the biggest global asset managers, states in their global market outlook that more clarity about the economic developments will be achieved in 2023, “as we see rates peak in much of the developed world”. However, next year will be anything but a straight path, as many risks to a sustained recovery will remain.
Scaling up the Interceptor system of The Ocean Cleanup
CFF has been working with The Ocean Cleanup as their trusted communications advisor since 2014. 2022 was marked by the expansion of the number of Interceptor systems that clean up rivers. There are now 8 systems active in Malaysia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Vietnam, among others. The organization is also making good progress in the North Pacific. System 002, the predecessor of the final design, has fished a total of 153,000 kilos of plastic out of the water in recent months, roughly 75% of which is plastic from fishing.
With the experience gained, work is now underway on system 003, a solution that will be no less than 3x the size of system 002. CFF contributes by offering communication advice and activating and managing international media attention. We interact daily with parties such as CNN, BBC World, Reuters and The Guardian. You can safely say that we are proud and happy with the attention we have been able to achieve for the organization!
Grip on the narratives that impact your business
Getting the relevant news stories on the radar of senior management or employees can be time-consuming. In 2022, our 15-strong team of media analysts worked with trusted media monitoring organizations to analyze, interpret and share relevant news developments. Our analyses covered social media trends, open source developments, RTV, relevant industry trends, and traditional online and newspaper coverage.
This year, our team further strengthened its media intelligence expertise in the finance, heavy industry and consumer space, but also in the agritech and renewable energy sectors, where we provide daily and weekly reports, with all the relevant news developments that busy decisionmakers need to know.