What We Do
Companies, investment firms, organizations and executives today face increasingly complex and rapidly evolving challenges as business, political and social issues converge. Our multidisciplinary offering enables us to serve our clients 24/7 through planned and unplanned events.
We are problem solvers at our core, and we never take an off-the-shelf approach. Our holistic communications strategies are highly customized to advance stakeholder relations and achieve strong business results.
While our clients’ needs vary greatly, the principles of our approach are consistent:
- We tie communications to business objectives.
- We identify issues and opportunities while focusing our clients’ attention on what matters most in solving or achieving them.
- We believe in direct communication to key constituencies through a variety of influential channels, from individual engagement to social media campaigns and everything in between.
- There is no one size fits all approach to communications. We bring together bespoke strategies, underpinned by research and best practice, with superior execution leveraging the full suite of our communications disciplines.
Corporate Reputation & Positioning
H/Advisors Abernathy designs, implements and advises on communications programs to protect our clients’ reputations and advance their strategic initiatives. We favor simple, clear and memorable messages that speak directly to the audiences that matter most. Abernathy offers the full suite of communications services, from media engagement and thought leadership to presentation training and corporate communication audits.
We counsel clients on building and managing an organization’s media presence and provide direct media representation when useful to our clients. Our work leverages deep relationships with the most influential reporters and editors, as well as our knowledge of how to build an enduring public profile.
We also help clients assess and manage their digital profiles, including benchmarking against peers, engaging strategically so that their social media activities are consistent with and advance their narratives and actively monitoring the digital media landscape.
H/Advisors Abernathy is one of the nation’s leading crisis management firms, having advised on some of the most high-profile and consequential corporate and organizational challenges of the past four decades. Combining our strategic acumen with our extensive experience across industries and disciplines, we ensure business continuity, optimize outcomes for stakeholders and minimize reputational damage. We provide 24/7 real-time, bespoke communications counsel, including stakeholder engagement, media relations, scenario planning and, when necessary, litigation support, all informed by the latest industry and digital trends, to help our clients navigate their crisis and achieve their business goals with authenticity and credibility. Our distinct approach to crisis and risk management has been recognized by Chambers and Partners – the leading research and rankings firm for the legal and related industries.
Abernathy’s crisis management experience spans a broad range of issues and events, from workplace misconduct to product recalls, cybersecurity to employee activism and physical disasters to mass violence. Our work also dovetails with significant corporate matters such as C-suite changes, regulatory issues and white-collar crime. In addition to crisis response, we are experts in crisis preparedness – guiding clients through quick diagnostics or live table-top simulations for boards of directors and executive teams. We help our clients identify their greatest risks, effectively leverage their resources and implement tailored best practices to navigate effectively through any crisis.
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
In today’s digital environment, cyber incidents are inevitable for many companies and often accompanied by far-reaching financial and reputational impacts. H/Advisors Abernathy understands the importance of effective responses and clear communications during a cyber crisis, whether a crippling ransomware attack or devastating data breach. Having counseled clients of all sizes across industries on high-stakes incidents, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all playbook. That’s why we deliver nuanced strategies tailored to unique circumstances and business objectives.
Our cyber security and data privacy capabilities reflect a 360-degree approach to the many layered, real-time demands of an incident: on-point messaging that allays concerns and strengthens trust, alignment with legal strategy, fulfillment of regulatory requirements, sensitivity to stakeholder needs and concerns and tactical engagement with media. With deep experience across law, public affairs, government and media, Abernathy’s expertise allows client teams to focus on day-to-day operations, while we tackle critical communications needs, from the discovery of an incident to 24/7 responses to new developments, and eventually through the company’s return to normalcy. Whether responding to a cyber crisis or planning and training for a potential incident, when the stakes are high and leadership is tested, Abernathy delivers strategic counsel that protects our clients’ interests and reputations.
Our digital practice underpins H/Advisors Abernathy’s best-in-class approach to solving our clients’ most complex issues and helping them realize their strategic objectives. As core stakeholder groups turn to digital to gather, assess and share information, Abernathy devises tailored digital strategies to help shape the conversation, deliver it to the stakeholders who matter most and provide measurable results.
Our “digital-always” philosophy is woven into everything we do, from major announcements to sensitive issues management to profile raising. Abernathy’s digital expertise and capabilities provide real-time data that informs our strategic counsel and creative approach to providing tailored solutions for each client. We ensure that our clients are prepared to solve critical matters and keep their reputations intact by connecting their message to targeted and hard-to-reach audiences online.
Abernathy has advised and executed robust digital campaigns in support of a wide range of communications programs, including those in the areas of public affairs, stakeholder advocacy, shareholder activism defense, crisis management, M&A, employee engagement and litigation.
H/Advisors Abernathy offers a broad array of services and expertise to address company-specific issues and opportunities related to ESG. We assist clients by improving their disclosure and communications strategies around board composition, executive compensation, human capital management, governance principles, sustainability objectives and stakeholder perspectives. We also help clients gain a more informed understanding of ESG rating agencies, benchmarks and reporting entities. Collaborating with other practice areas of the firm, we offer clients a holistic view of the ESG landscape and are able to provide specific recommendations on other issues of interest.
We partner with clients across a wide range of industries to support the development of effective ESG communications programs, grounded in quantifiable metrics. This has included developing sustainability reports, assessing ESG ratings and rankings, helping clients enhance disclosure and implement reporting frameworks. We also have advised clients on ESG peer benchmarking and in navigating engagements with shareholders on ESG issues and proposals.
H/Advisors Abernathy has one of the industry’s largest and most experienced hedge fund communications practices. Our team advises blue-chip clients with a combined $150 billion in assets under management. From smaller funds to larger international hedge fund firms and some of the most well-known family offices, we work with clients of all strategies and sizes. We offer a sophisticated understanding of how best to build and protect hedge funds’ reputations and align communications with a focus on reaching target audiences and achieving business objectives. We also assist founders, portfolio managers and senior leaders on their personal, professional and philanthropic profiles.
Every firm has its own unique story and business objectives. That’s why we bring discretion, clarity and unmatched financial media relationships to every engagement. Whenever our clients need us, we’re there as true partners, providing tailored, around-the-clock support for the highest intensity matters, and serving as their trusted advisor on day-to-day affairs. From strategic reputation management, media relations, limited partner communications, profile raising and thought leadership to issues management, litigation and other important initiatives, our team knows hedge fund communications inside and out.
H/Advisors Abernathy has a nearly 40-year track record of advising companies of all sizes through complex shareholder engagement and investor relations matters, particularly during periods of high-stakes change. We partner with our clients to develop and shape an investor narrative to speak to buy-side and sell-side audiences through all market cycles. Our highly tailored advice, counsel and execution spans a range of capital markets events (including IPOs and SPACs), quarterly investor engagement and reporting and complex situations (e.g., guidance, compliance, special announcements and contested votes). We are focused on helping our clients strengthen engagement with both institutional and retail investors.
Our work with clients builds and enhances their overall investor relations functions and programs to tell a more complete story to the market. We support quarterly earnings, sharpen investor presentations and implement digital tools and strategies, as well as plan for analyst days, non-deal roadshows and conduct in-depth perception studies to assess investors’ understanding of the company’s strategy. Our IR professionals come from a variety of backgrounds, including sell-side and buy-side, in-house IROs, financial media and corporate communications.
Initial Public Offerings
H/Advisors Abernathy advises clients through the complex and meaningful process of going public and listing on a stock exchange. Our approach includes refining a client’s private company messaging to attract prospective investors and be appropriate for a publicly traded company, building an investor relations infrastructure that conforms to best practices, evaluating and selecting a stock exchange, planning for analyst days and investor roadshows, training senior executives, developing media strategies and securing interviews, providing on-the-ground support for pricing and listing day and more.
We also anticipate and understand the needs of stakeholders integral to our clients’ success as a public company, including employees who need to understand how internal processes will change, customers and suppliers who need clarity on how this event may affect their products and services, investors evaluating how well positioned the company is from a growth and valuation perspective and financial community analysts looking to build and refine their models.
Ranked by Chambers and Partners as one of the top firms in the country for litigation communications, H/Advisors Abernathy has deep experience helping clients navigate challenging and complex legal matters. Working across jurisdictions and forums, including federal and state courts, the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, Abernathy collaborates closely with general and outside counsel to develop communications strategies that protect corporate reputation and stakeholder relationships while ensuring alignment with legal objectives and strategy. Our team of experts brings outside-of-the-box thinking and smart tactics to complex situations, from trade-secret disputes and class-action labor claims to sexual harassment cases and governance matters.
Abernathy works with clients through the entire litigation timeline, from contemplations of a complaint filing to the court’s final ruling, appeals, settlement discussions and beyond, preparing at every juncture for a multitude of outcomes. We tell relatable, compelling stories to key stakeholders, leveraging crisp, clear messaging to deftly engage with media when appropriate. We also understand that for many businesses, the court of public opinion often coalesces well in advance of any verdict and is equally paramount.
H/Advisors Abernathy consistently ranks among the top M&A communications and stakeholder engagement advisors in the United States and globally. Our experienced team has advised public companies, private equity firms, privately held organizations and founder-led businesses on more than 1,000 transactions in the past decade, bringing a unique data-driven and tailored approach to each engagement. Our customizable cross-stakeholder approach helps our clients preserve value and complete transactions while successfully navigating today’s dynamic, fast-moving environment where perceptions are shaped quickly and stakeholders are pressuring companies and boards more than ever before. The announcement of a transaction is just the beginning of the process toward approval and our proven methods secure stakeholder support and understanding through deal closing, from Wall Street to Main Street to DC, and beyond.
Our firm has worked on numerous ground-breaking transactions, including those that secured landmark regulatory approval, fought off competing or hostile bidders or marked a seminal change for founders. That broad and diverse experience helps our team bring exclusive insights that improve outcomes for our clients. Abernathy’s M&A team provides strategic counsel and full-service execution, grounded in proprietary research and analytics to help us see around corners. We bring deep relationships with the financial media, corporate governance, and the investment banking and legal communities, allowing us to provide clients with a steady flow of intelligence on key business developments so strategies can be adjusted accordingly. We help companies and boards reach the investors, regulators, employees and critical stakeholders across all channels, as well as provide expert media relations, innovative digital strategies, and thoughtful investor communications and stakeholder engagement.
H/Advisors Abernathy has been a trusted communications advisor to private equity for nearly 40 years, working to ensure communications help drive performance for firms and their portfolio companies. We apply the full range of our expertise, from M&A and crisis management to reputation building and digital strategies, to help our clients communicate with the stakeholders that matter most.
We help clients communicate about critical events: new investments; add-on acquisitions; exits through sales, IPOs and SPACs; fundraising; firm launches; personnel changes; GP stake sales; bankruptcies and restructurings; litigation; ESG and regulatory matters; and political scrutiny.
Our long-standing record of success is rooted in our philosophy of thinking like private equity does, with an unblinking focus on preserving and enhancing value. To help our clients achieve their goals, we take a 360-degree view of their business and the broader market, instituting tailored messaging and audience strategies to reach the stakeholders who can influence and impact performance and private equity firms’ license to operate.
The political environment in the United States and around the world has become increasingly partisan, polarizing and challenging for business, as companies face intense pressure to navigate an unpredictable and unforgiving landscape. H/Advisors Abernathy helps clients across a range of sectors – including health care, energy, technology and financial services – tell their stories and navigate turbulence to defend their brands, valuations and reputations. In every engagement, we leverage our:
- Deep expertise in politics and business. We have a diverse team coming from public and private sectors, highly regulated, consumer and B2B industries, corporate communications, investor relations, media, law, government, crisis and campaign management;
- Holistic, multi-audience approach at a time when stakeholders of all types, including those outside of the lawmaking, regulatory and political crowd have increasingly called upon companies and their leaders to take positions on policy matters, especially ESG issues;
- Broad services, including integrated advocacy campaigns, policy communications, issues management – especially around government investigations and inquiries – and corporate affairs support on everything from reputation management to employee activism;
- Global network, with a presence in all major financial and political centers around the world. Our integrated worldwide agency footprint supports our understanding of how policy issues “travel” with government action in one market influencing others.
Research, Data & Insights
H/Advisors Abernathy’s research team serves as a core partner in every engagement, tackling our clients’ most critical questions by transforming information into insights.
We combine the most advanced tools on the market with our unique expertise, human intelligence and proprietary resources developed in-house to conduct thorough analyses across primary and secondary sources and sectors. We are continually evaluating our resources to ensure we are meeting the evolving needs of our clients.
From conducting due diligence and unearthing market intelligence to performing real-time monitoring and compiling in-depth analyses, our clients quickly come to realize that research and the actionable intelligence derived from it are central to our counsel. That’s what helps us stay ahead of the market forces directly impacting our clients’ businesses.
Restructuring & Bankruptcy
For nearly 40 years, H/Advisors Abernathy has advised companies of all sizes through the restructuring and bankruptcy process. Our communications expertise has helped clients project stability amid uncertainty while maintaining business value and stakeholder confidence through the full range of in- and out-of-court processes. Through our combination of direct communications, visual and digital tactics and media relations, we create robust strategies that help clients complete successful reorganizations.
We have supported dozens of publicly traded and privately held debtors, stalking horse bidders, creditors and municipalities. With communications in our expert hands, employees remain focused on driving the business ahead, customers order with confidence, vendors continue to provide vital goods and services and community leaders and regulators support the company’s path forward. We help clients navigate change and speculation to achieve their long-term goals.
Shareholder Activism Defense
H/Advisors Abernathy is among the leading communications firms with expertise advising corporate boards and management teams to prepare for, engage with and defend against activist shareholders. We bring a different approach to activism defense focused on achieving real business outcomes for our clients. With deep experience working against a wide variety of activists, we provide customized advice and counsel to help our clients navigate evolving approaches from activists and thoughtfully communicate to stakeholders through the moments that matter most.
In today’s dynamic environment, the best defense is a strong offense, founded on ensuring that investors understand and support the company’s strategy. We help our clients launch and support shareholder engagement programs, utilizing both traditional and innovative means to reach and engage investors, including in-depth perception studies, tabletop workshops and geo-targeted digital campaigns designed specifically for each company’s shareholder base.
We partner with companies to assess their strengths and vulnerabilities, anticipate and prepare for various scenarios, engage constructively with declared activists and maximize their chances of success in the event of a proxy contest. In a contested situation, our team leads the development of communications materials, and our experience provides us with insights into goals and tactics crucial to shaping an effective defense strategy. Our relationships with the specialized reporters and advisors who focus on activism and corporate governance help our clients counter increasingly media-savvy activists.