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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Glover Park Group (GPG), the D.C.-based public affairs firm founded by former Clinton-Gore aides in 2001, is merging with two other global advisory firms.

  • Finsbury is based in the UK and Hering Schuppener is based in Germany. The combined firm, launching in 2021, will be called Finsbury Glover Hering (FGH).

Why it matters: The deal formalizes a years-long partnership between the three groups, which all focus on different aspects of corporate branding, reputation and advocacy communications and public relations.

Details: All three firms used to be fully owned by WPP, the world's largest ad holding group by revenue. The new company is buying back roughly half of its stake from the global ad giant as a merged firm.

  • FGH will own 49.99% of the company alongside WPP, which will retain a majority stake. WPP CEO Mark Read will join the board of the new company.
  • Alexander Geiser, Managing Partner at Hering Schuppener, will serve as CEO of the new firm. His leadership team will be a combination of leading executives from the three firms.
  • Finsbury founder Roland Rudd and GPG founder Carter Eskew will co-chair the new firm. Winnie Lerner of Finsbury and Michael Feldman of GPG will serve as co-CEOs of the group's North America practice.

By the numbers: The combined company will include nearly 700 employees across 18 offices worldwide, including New York, D.C., London and Brussels.

The big picture: There's more pressure on brands to address global crisis and public policy now than ever before.

  • The new firm will leverage combined expertise in issues management, corporate and crisis communications and deals to help companies navigate those expectations.
  • The Glover Park Group has for years led corporate communications for a wide array of clients, including the NFL, Apple and other major brands.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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