Updated 4:05 p.m.
As of Jan. 1, 2011, lobbying firms Cassidy & Associates and The Rhoads Group will combine their operations. The merged firm will continue to operate under the Cassidy & Associates banner.
Gerald Cassidy will remain the firm’s executive chairman. Barry Rhoads, who had been chief executive officer of The Rhoads Group, will step into the newly created role of president once the two firms consummate the merger. Former Rep. Marty Russo (D-Ill.) will continue to serve as the firm’s senior vice chairman and CEO. Gregg Hartley will also remain the firm’s vice chairman and chief operating officer.
The combined firm will have 53 lobbyists and other government relations professionals.
The Rhoads Group was founded in the wake of the 2001 break up of Boland & Madigan, a subsidiary of Cassidy & Associates. The Rhoads Group, which maintained a relationship with Cassidy & Associates but operated entirely independent of it, was set up as a government relations firm with an initial focus on helping states and communities on defense-related economic development issues and Base Realignment and Closure Commission counseling.
Cassidy & Associates was founded in 1975 and advises clients on lobbying, polling, public relations and crisis management.
Cassidy’s clients include BP Wind Energy North America Inc., Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Briggs & Stratton Corp., MGM Mirage and Intel Corp. The Rhoads Group represents NRG Energy Inc., Sonardyne International, the state of New Jersey, the commonwealth of Kentucky, Deloitte, Seimens One and Dynamic Animation Systems Inc.
The combination will also presumably increase Cassidy & Associate’s gross revenue at a time when lobbying firms are expecting increased business as a result of the widespread Republican victories in the midterm elections. As Cassidy told The National Law Journal earlier this month, “A divided government makes the process more complex and gets more parties involved. That lends itself to the need for expert advice and counsel. It's been good for business in the past, and that's going to be true this time around."
According to the Influence 50, our annual ranking of the most profitable lobbying firms in Washington, Cassidy & Associates brought in $23.3 million in 2009. The Rhoads Group did not make the list last year, but Rhoads said his firm brings in "$5 million plus" in revenue."
Cassidy and Rhoads said that the two firms have been discussing a merger for the past several months because it would offer a way to better serve each firm's clients.
Cassidy said the union made particular sense for the two firms' defense industry clients. "There is going to be a great deal of work in the defense sector as more and more pressure is put on Congress to cut defense spending. Barry is an expert on working with the military to turn base closures into opportunities for economic development."
Rhoads, a former Army officer and federal prosecutor, said he has been tasked with expanding Cassidy & Associates' marketing strategies and for helping to grow the firm. "By joining a much larger platform, there is a great deal of opportunity for us and for our clients," Rhoads said.