has pursued talks with MDL Capital (No. 9 on the BE asset managers list with $1.5 billion in assets under management) to increase its product offerings.
Many of the companies have decided if they couldn’t beat majority firms, then it’s best to profit from merging with them. Last June, Chicago-based Burrell Communications Group L.L.C. (No. 3 on the BE advertising agencies list with $175.2 million in billings) sold a stake in its business to the French advertising colossus, Publicis; and Southfield, Michigan-based Don Coleman Advertising (No. 2 on the list with $202 million in billings) forged an alliance with True North Communication Inc. Ironically, the leading black-owned agency was UniWorld Group Inc., which did not profit from the benefits of a partnership. The firm increased its billings to $230 million by snaring such New Economy accounts as Microsoft, the software manufacturing behemoth.
Auto dealers also realized the benefits of pooling resources. Following the lead of last year’s Auto Dealer of the Year, March/Hodge Holding Co. (No. 2 on the be auto dealer 100 list with $258.4 million in sales), black auto dealers like Thomas Moorehead, Pam Rodgers and Richard Davis are combining operations through the creation of a holding company. Others are starting to discover that the road to profits may run through the Internet.
Bottom line, the New Economy is here to stay. But what is unknown is the extent to which technological innovation will transform industries and whether the b
oom times will continue to roll. However, the be powerhouses will adapt and plug into any altered business environment that may be on the horizon.