Skin in the Game: Ad Agency Creates Mini-Mutual Fund of Clients’ Stocks

Clients want more accountability from their Ad Agency. Here’s an example of an agency that has found a unique way to put some “skin in the game.”

A New York advertising agency, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners has created a mini-mutual fund of its agency clients’ stocks that are publicly traded.

“We’ve been hearing from a lot of clients that they want more accountability, they need us to own their challenges.” Lori Senecal, Kirshenbaum Bond president and CEO.

The agency spent $500,000 to start this Client Stock Index. The 300 employees of Kirshenbaum Bond will be offered long-term cash and compensation incentives to mirror the performance of the stocks in the index, which they will be able to track each trading day on an intranet on the agency’s Web site.

Starting an agency mutual fund was among 50 ideas presented by employees at a crowd-sourcing meeting in October that sought proposals to help revitalize Kirshenbaum Bond from everyone who works there. The index was the brainchild of two Kirshenbaum Bond employees: Aric Cheston, partner and creative director, and Matt Powell, chief technologist. They will each receive a cash bonus of $10,000 from MDC.

“Agencies either go forward or backward; they don’t stay the same,” said Richard Kirshenbaum, co-chairman at Kirshenbaum Bond,  “it’s time to have renewed energy and spirit at a time when the landscape is changing” for the advertising business.”

Read the entire New York Times article by Stuart Elliot: “Agency Combines Clients’ Stocks for a Mini-Mutual Fund”

Additional article that may be of interest: Edward Boches: 5 questions every CMO should ask a prospective ad agency

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. This isn’t a new idea. One of the big agency 401(k) plans I subscribed to offered client stocks as one of their investment options. I guess one (or both) of the creatives who proposed the idea worked there. The $10,000 they won is probably more than anyone ever made from investing in the actual stocks!

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