Edelman Acquires Basilinna, Long-Time Edelman Partner and DC-Based Strategic Consulting Company
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Edelman today announced the launch of Edelman Global Advisory, a new firm that will be part of the DJE family, to provide tailored business and government advisory services to institutions seeking to navigate today’s changing geopolitical and economic landscape.
Edelman Global Advisory (EGA) will be formed through Edelman’s acquisition of Basilinna, a long-time Edelman partner and Washington, D.C.-based strategic consulting company, which Edelman acquired. EGA will build on the existing reputation for trust and excellence of the Edelman brand in providing public relations and public affairs services.
"Our clients are contending with more complex issues than ever before and they are looking to Edelman to help guide them through the new challenges they are facing,” said Richard Edelman. “This acquisition allows our already exemplary public affairs team to grow and expand our expertise to new regions and markets. Whether it is the economic and political implications of various geopolitical risks, the increased focus on sustainable action, the demand for equality and equity, or the challenges of funding a post Covid recovery, our EGA team will have the deep expertise to advise and help our clients succeed in these complicated times."
EGA will advise and provide guidance to business, governments and not-for-profits. Based in Washington, D.C. and with offices in major business centers around the world, including New York, Brussels, Paris, Ottawa, Dubai, Tokyo, Mexico City and Beijing, EGA’s experienced regional and issues experts are tapped into the pulse of these countries. The team will provide bespoke services for clients seeking to enter new markets, expand in existing ones, better understand regulatory change and political risk, and develop strategies to build ties with essential stakeholders.
Edelman has committed to an initial investment of $10 million towards key new hires and expansion of EGA into new markets. EGA will announce additional regional and sectoral leadership in the coming weeks and months.
Deborah Lehr, with a background in public service, the private and not-for-profit sectors, will serve as the new Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of EGA. Her career spans the corridors of Washington in the National Security Council, the U.S. Trade Representative, Commerce Department and the law firm of Mayer Brown. In addition, she brings her experience to the firm of working at the New York Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch, as well as leading institutions such as the Paulson Institute, a think tank focused on the U.S.-China relations, green finance, economics and finance, as well as founding the Antiquities Coalition, which fights against cultural racketeering. She is a founder and CEO of Basilinna.
Leigh Wedell will serve as co-COO and Managing Principal. In her 25-year career as a China specialist, Leigh has helped launch and manage four successful business advisory services, two not-for-profits, and also worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the law firm, Mayer Brown, the Albright Stonebridge Group, and International Republican Institute. In addition, she served as Chief Sustainability Officer for the Paulson Institute. She is a founder and is CEO of Basilinna.
Gurpreet Brar, a senior member of the current Edelman team, will serve as co-COO and Managing Principal of the firm. His career has seen him live and work in the UK, Brussels, Japan and India, and working with organizations spanning from the United Nations and European Commission, through to the UK’s Houses of Parliament and Financial Services Authority. Brar will continue to lead EGA’s Europe region and India team.
The core leadership team of Lehr, Wedell and Brar will bring together 17 years of government service, 48 years of advisory work, 22 years of not-for-profit work. They will be supported by Gracie Sun, who will serve as Vice Chair for APAC and based out of Shanghai. Gracie is currently the President for China of Basilinna. In addition, Gracie oversees the Green Finance Center at the Paulson Institute. The core leadership team will also be supported by existing Edelman public affairs leaders, including Aaron Guiterman as Chief Innovation Officer and Global Chair of Digital, Ian McCabe as Chair of APAC, Darcy Walsh as Chair of Canada and Gonzalo Plecity as Chair of Latin America and an experienced, robust team of roughly 100 highly qualified public affairs specialists from around the Edelman and Basilinna network.
“I am delighted and looking forward to joining Edelman to launch its new advisory business. EGA will provide tailored solutions and services to its clients to help them succeed, building on the foundation of Edelman’s 6000-person team,” said Lehr. “With the significant investment already committed by Edelman, we will continue to hone our expertise to meet our clients’ challenges and market demand through new hires and additional acquisitions. We fully intend for EGA to be the most trusted advisory firm for global business in the world.”
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include Cannes Lions Grand Prix awards for PR (2016) and the Entertainment Lions for Sport (2021); Cannes Lions Independent Agency of the Year for the Entertainment Track (2021); Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Data x Intelligence (research, data) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).