In The Hive Health Group, Fishawack adds a London- and New York-based healthcare marketing and scientific communications agency, known for its strategic approach, scientific storytelling, and integrated patient engagement excellence. The company is made up of two brands, Hive Health (a creative agency with a focus on patient experience) and Pollen Health (a scientific and medical communications agency).
Meanwhile, StoneArch is a Minneapolis-based healthcare marketing agency with more than 35 years of experience in content creation and storytelling for the healthcare industry, including a strong presence in pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and care delivery, as well as the medical device and health technology space.
“Both of these companies fit into a grander strategy that deals with the evolution in the commercialization process and the nature of how agencies deliver value is changing. It demands more agility, more expertise, and more of a global footprint,” Ross Toohey, Chief Commercial Officer at Fishawack Health, said to PM360 in an interview. “Our acquisition strategy is not financially driven. We’re looking for complementary capabilities that either strengthen existing capabilities with new geographies and new talent, or we’re looking at capabilities that augment and expand our current offering.”
In the case of The Hive Health Group, Toohey feels they are complementing Fishawack’s existing capabilities in patient engagement and market access while also expanding the company’s medical communications and commercial communications footprint with additional heft and talent in the global market. While the StoneArch acquisition will also help reinforce some of the market experience Fishawack already has, it will also bring something new to the company.
“Fishawack is very focused on biopharma, but what StoneArch brings to the table that I’m very excited about it—and I believe was underappreciated in the market—is deep expertise in med device and med tech,” Toohey explains. “We see a future in health tech and wanted to expand our footprint in that space and reinforce our capabilities there. Minneapolis is also a wildly underappreciated talent market in the creative industry and we cannot wait to recruit more from that area.”
Integrating in the New Additions
Both companies will maintain their leadership, which includes Jas Hummel, Global Chief Executive Officer of The Hive Health Group and Marcia Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of StoneArch. While the companies will still operate with their agency brand intact, they will do so as part of the Fishawack network.
“Our strategy is to go to market as Fishawack Health and engage in new opportunities as Fishawack Health,” Toohey says. “If we need to bring up certain brands or teams within Fishawack Health, Dudnyk is a great example with its rare disease expertise, then we’ll absolutely do that, but that is part of the greater Fishawack Health group. The value proposition of Fishawack Health is we have the best of the best and we bring them together and form partnerships based on the best talent for that client.”
In a press release statement, Hummel said, “We are delighted to join Fishawack Health, a dynamic and growing business that offers our clients scale, expertise, and breadth of services in the healthcare sector. The Hive Health Group was acquired by Kin + Carta in 2014, who have more recently focused their commitment on the digital transformation space. The reality is that our healthcare clients need a much wider mix of capabilities and it had become clear to leadership in both organizations, that our offering and priorities were not aligned.”
Meanwhile, Miller said in a press release, “The Fishawack Health leadership team is first class. The company has a strong identity, vision, and values, a newly integrated operating model, and an entrepreneurial spirit. We immediately knew they were the perfect match for us. We’re excited to offer our clients wider resources and a stronger offering that extends our services—in insight, market access, experience and service design, scientific meetings, publications planning, and media offerings.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, Toohey says he expects Fishawack will continue to explore more acquisition opportunities throughout the year, specifically mentioning a focus on areas related to HCP and patient data solutions as well as corporate communications.