Clients part with K St.’s Ogilvy after departure of star lobbyists

Ogilvy Government Relations has lost clients and another lobbyist following the departure of star talent earlier this summer.

The firm filed termination forms last week for at least a half-dozen clients, including Hilton Worldwide. In addition, lobbyist De’Ana Dow has left Ogilvy for Capitol Counsel, another K Street shop. 

Chris Giblin, the firm’s CEO, said the lobby shop still has great talent.

“What has transpired is not unique to us. When people leave firms, the business they typically bring in goes with them,” Giblin said. “We still have a core group of individuals here at the firm who have a good book of business.”

K Streeters have been keeping a close eye on the firm in recent months. Ogilvy, owned by WPP, is one of the influence industry’s top earners, having taken in $9.7 million in lobbying fees for the first half of this year.

But a major leadership shake-up at Ogilvy earlier this summer raised questions about whether the firm is on the decline.

In June, prominent GOP lobbyist Wayne Berman left Ogilvy to become a lobbyist for private-equity firm Blackstone Group, one of the firm’s biggest clients. Another executive, Drew Maloney, left for a job as the external affairs adviser to the Republican National Committee for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign. 

Two other lobbyists, John O'Neill and Elena Tompkins, departed Ogilvy at around the same time. O’Neill left for Capitol Counsel, where Dow has gone, and Tompkins created her own firm, Tompkins Strategies.

In the days after the departures, Ogilvy ended its relationship with at least six clients — CIT Group, DJO Global, Inc., Geneva Trading USA, Hilton Worldwide, Marwood Group and Patient First Corporation. Those terminations all came on June 30, according to lobbying disclosure records.

Giblin said Ogilvy plans to hire new lobbyists soon.

“We are completing our transition and are looking forward to announcing some exciting hires in the near future,” Giblin said. “We want to go back to our roots as a boutique firm and give 2013 a really good shot and build out from there.” 

Dow said in an email to The Hill that she moved to the new firm because it was "a great opportunity for me at Capitol Counsel."

“John Raffaelli reached out to me and made me an offer I couldn't refuse,” Dow said. 

Raffaelli is a founding partner at Capitol Counsel and a well-known Democratic lobbyist.