Hyper Marketing (US)

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Now absorbed into data marketing giant Epsilon, Hyper Marketing was created in January 2012 from the merger of two separate groups, SolutionSet and DL Ryan Companies, under the control of investment fund Lake Capital. It claimed at that time to be the largest independent marketing services network in North America. Before the end of the year, however, it was snapped up by Epsilon.

The core of what became Hyper was SolutionSet, a US-based integrated marketing services agency focused mainly on digital marketing for technology clients. That business was originally created in 2001 under the name Haggin Marketing by Jeff Haggin. After five years as a Bay Area direct marketing specialist, Haggin raised funding from Lake Capital to acquire other businesses and expand it footprint. Lake Capital is the private equity vehicle chaired by Terence Graunke, who has a long and distinguished career as a marketing entrepreneur. Although Lake Capital now manages a collection of businesses from multiple different sectors, Graunke is best-known as the founder of pioneering interactive agency Eagle River, and chairman of both Lighthouse Global Network and DVC Worldwide, all businesses built up and sold over the past 30 years. (In 2014, Lake Capital acquired control of the UK-based marketing group Engine and injected into it various other US assets including creative agency Trailer Park Studios.)

One of the various businesses acquired by Haggin was a small digital agency called SolutionSet. All the group's various acquired businesses merged under the SolutionSet name, and Zain Raj, an executive with several years' experience in data marketing and consultancy, was brought in as CEO. Early the following year, the whole business was transferred into a new umbrella group under the name Hyper Marketing, which also acquired rival agencies Ryan Partnership and CatapultRPM.

Dave Ryan had established the Ryan Partnership in 1984 as a promotional marketing agency specialising in retail promotions and events. He went on to acquire several rivals, including Catapult Marketing and RPM Connect, but kept these separate under the overall umbrella of DL Ryan Companies. CatapultRPM was named as shopper marketing agency of the year in 2013 by trade magazine HUB. Hyper has continued expand since its creation. In Sept 2012 it acquired its first international asset, the Irish integrated marketing agency Acorn.

In November 2012, Epsilon acquired the bulk of Hyper Marketing for $452m. All the various units of the group were included in the deal except MediaWhiz, which was sold separately to Matomy Media Group. Most of Hyper's various subsidiary brands have since been phased out.

SolutionSet's Zain Raj was CEO of the merged Hyper group, and became president, agency services at Epsilon. He left the company towards the end of 2013. Paul Kramer is remains CEO of Catapult. Former Draftfcb Chicago chief Mark Modesto was named as CEO of Ryan Partnership's Chicago office in 2012 and added the role of group president of retail & consumer packaged goods client services at Epsilon in early 2013.

Last full revision 12th May 2017

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