The lobbying shop Clark & Weinstock and the public affairs firm Mercury have merged their Washington operations, the two companies announced Tuesday. In D.C., the combined company will operate under the Mercury/Clark & Weinstock brand. In the states, the new firm will fly under the Mercury banner.
The merger combines mid-sized and small lobbying practices to create a firm with much more reach in the marketplace. In 2010, the two firms had a total lobbying revenue of almost $9 million. By comparison, Alston & Bird, Washington's 20th largest firm by revenue, brought in almost $12 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics.
In addition to a beefed up Washington lobbying presence, the combined firm will also include a national grassroots network, polling, issue advertising, communications and state-based operations in New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois.
The new company also brings together an impressive list of former elected officials. Clark & Weinstock managing partner and former Rep. Vin Weber will become co-chairman of the company along with Mercury brass including former Rep. Max Sandlin, former Sen. Jim Talent, former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
UPDATE: Weber tells the Alley that the merger has been in the works for about four months and aims to put public affairs and lobbying practices under one roof. Increasingly, Weber said, he has seen clients requesting a public affairs component to their lobbying campaigns. The combined firm also plans to continue building out its lobbying practice.
"We've put together a firm that is both very entrepreneurial that has some extraordinary and experienced talent. And the two don't often go together, but in this firm they do," he said.