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Ariad to merge with US agency Bluespire

High Road Capital Partners of New York has acquired Ariad Communications of Toronto from its founder and majority owner, Hugh Furneaux. The firm will be combined with Minneapolis-based Bluespire Marketing, of which High Road Capital Partners is the majority owner. Ariad president Michael Beckerman will become CEO of the combined agency. The firm will operate as Ariad in Canada and Bluespire in the US.

"Many of Ariad's clients have asked us about having a US presence to support their business," said Beckerman. "We have also been looking to expand in the US as our healthcare expertise and direct-to-consumer strategies lend very well to the US marketplace. This combination will allow Hugh Furneaux, who retired nine years ago, to formally exit the business knowing that the cultural and philosophical approach he helped establish would be maintained. The philosophies of these organizations are remarkably similar with an emphasis on developing engaging and inspiring cultures to attract and retain the very best people. We have been working with HRCP for six months on this plan and have found them to be a good cultural fit as well."

Ariad's clients include Unilever, Sears, OneTouch, Johnson & Johnson, Colliers, Becel, Visa, D&H, Vale, PwC, Skate Canada and Smart Car. Bluespire's clients include Pfizer, Navy Federal Credit Union, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange and North Shore-LIJ Health System.

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