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As of September 15, 2015 the Serviceplan Group, Europe`s largest independent agency, broadens its presence in China by acquiring the majority of the high profile digital agency, Aquarius Asia. Serviceplan has now, in addition to Beijing, a second office in Shanghai. Roger Strack is responsible for both locations as managing director with immediate effect. In Beijing, Jan-Philipp Jahn, formerly general manager at Serviceplan Middle East (Dubai), takes over the management. Kathrin Guethoff remains responsible for creation. In addition to Mainland China, Serviceplan is also represented with an office in Hong Kong. In Shanghai and Hong Kong, Marc Finsterlin, founder and managing director of Aquarius Asia, takes over his new role within the Serviceplan Group, and is responsible for both offices.  Thus Serviceplan China has grown from two to 200 people since launching its business in China two years ago.

Munich/Shanghai, September 17th 2015 — A Chinese success story. Within two years Serviceplan has grown its employee count from two, at its start in mid-2013, to around 200 employees now. On September 15th 2015, Serviceplan opened its second office in Shanghai, China with around 75 employees as well as an office in Hong Kong following the take-over of the majority share of digital agency Aquarius Asia. The office in Beijing continues to be led by Kathrin Guethoff (creation) and from now on, together with Jan-Philipp Jahn (General Manager), who is new on board in China. Roger Strack moves to the Shanghai office and is responsible, with immediate effect, as Managing Director for all locations in China. Marc Finsterlin, founder and former CEO of the digital agency Aquarius Asia, is now Managing Partner of Serviceplan Shanghai and Hong Kong. At all Chinese locations, Serviceplan offers full service 360-degree communication.

Aquarius Asia was founded in Hong Kong by Marc Finsterlin together with Aquarius Munich (Germany) in 2009. In 2011 Aquarius extended to Mainland China by opening a Shanghai office as a significant second and important future mainstay in Greater China. Aquarius has positioned itself as a digital full-service partner and has been working for Bosch and Hugo Boss since 2009 in Greater China as well as the whole Asia Pacific region. Over the past six years, Aquarius has been able to win more international (e.g. Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Fendi, Lorenz Snackworld, Victorinox) and national clients (Tsinghua University Beijing and Lam Soon) and currently has a team of 80 employees in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Aquarius is a full-service agency with a strong focus on digital; its service portfolio reaches from strategy, concept, creation, and its own technical development, to media planning and booking. From its two offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Aquarius looks after multinationals in Greater China and more than ten countries in the Asia Pacific region.
In Beijing, Serviceplan China's clients include BMW (lead agency), Shell, Paulaner and various local clients. In Shanghai, the new merged team's clients include WMF, Metro and Continental in addition to Aquarius clients Bosch, Fendi, Mammut, Alexander McQueen, Lorenz Snack World and Richard Wolf. In Hong Kong, the local team takes care of regional customers Balenciaga, Hugo Boss, Lam Soon and Victorinox.

Florian Haller, CEO of the Serviceplan Group: "In two years, we have grown from 2 to 200 employees in China. It is a great success and an important milestone in our internationalization strategy. We are planning to build our Houses of Communication at both locations in Mainland China, with the core disciplines creation, digital and media. Hong Kong is also for us, as it is still for many international companies, an important strategic location in Asia".
Markus Noder, Managing Director Serviceplan International adds: “Shanghai is an extremely important location for us in China. Therefore, I am very pleased to be working with Aquarius Asia, to jointly the success story of the Serviceplan Group in Asia”.
Marc Finsterlin, Managing Partner Serviceplan Shanghai and Hong Kong, is looking forward to the merger: "Through the merger with the Serviceplan Group, we have formed a 100 percent integrated full-service agency in China that meets the needs of Chinese consumers. Together with Serviceplan, we are strengthening our position in the market, and have access to an international network of tools, experts and disciplines, thus strengthening our competitiveness, especially against international creative agencies and agency networks".

Internationalization of the Serviceplan Group

In 2006, Serviceplan Group CEO Florian Haller began to implement his vision of Serviceplan becoming the first global agency group with its origins in Germany. Since 2011, Markus Noder has been responsible as managing director of Serviceplan International for the internationalization of the agency group. In addition to its German locations in Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne, Serviceplan has established Houses of Communication in Vienna, Zurich, Paris, Milan, Brussels and Dubai. It also has branches in Moscow, Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul. The aim is to develop Houses of Communication at all its sites, combining all communication disciplines under one roof.
Due to its close cooperation with other partner agencies, the Serviceplan Group is also present in all major global business centres. Through a close relationship with the Creston agency group, the Serviceplan Group is also represented in the UK (London) and the United States (New York). Latin America is covered by the partner Ariadna with locations in Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lima, Mexico City, Miami, Panama City, Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo, and Publips in Spain has offices in Madrid and Valencia.

Picture: Roger Strack (left) und Marc Finsterlin


Christiane Wolff

Christiane Wolff
Chief Corporate Communications Officer

+49 89 2050 2270

E-Mail: c.wolff(at)serviceplan.com