Press | January 5th 2016

Stagwell Media Acquires a Majority Stake in Code And Theory

The Stagwell Group ( today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LLC, has acquired a majority stake in Code and Theory, a leading creative digital agency headquartered in New York City with offices in Atlanta, London, San Francisco, and Manila, the Philippines.

The agency was founded in 2001 by Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph and creates products, content and campaigns for leading companies across physical and digital worlds. Code and Theory is known for redefining media platforms for clients like Bloomberg, theLos Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Vogue and Mashable, and enabling brands like BURGER KING® to connect with new and existing consumers.

"Digital is a critical and core part of our strategy. Few firms have the state-of-the art experience that Code and Theory brings to the table in a digital space," said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group, LLC. "Under Dan and Brandon's leadership, we are excited about Code and Theory's future as part of our digital marketing services portfolio of companies."

With over three hundred professionals around the world, Code and Theory has been recognized as a leading international firm. In 2014, Code and Theory was recognized by Advertising Age as an "Agency to Watch" and, in 2015, the agency was listed by Fast Company as one of the world's "Most Innovative Companies."

"We are a company full of creative people, not traditional businesspeople, and we believe Stagwell Group is the right partner as we continue to grow our firm and do great work for our clients," said Dan Gardner, co-founder.

"Code and Theory is very proud of what we've accomplished as a team," said Brandon Ralph, co-founder. "We're looking forward to working with Stagwell to take our company to the next level."

The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund. This is Stagwell's third acquisition in the marketing services industry, joining strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker and entertainment research firm National Research Group (NRG). The fund previously announced it has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.

Code and Theory will continue to operate independently within Stagwell Group LLC as a stand-alone agency run by the current management team. Co-founders Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph continue to hold minority ownership stake. Code and Theory was represented by AdMedia Partners, Inc.

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We Are a Technology-First Creative Agency

What We Do

Born in 2001, Code and Theory is a technology-first creative agency that sits at the center of creativity and technology. With a global client roster of Fortune 100s and start-ups alike, we crave the hardest problems to solve and create end-to-end solutions that flex to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing business landscape.

Our Services

We provide a range of offerings built to support the entire ecosystem.

  • Data, Research & Testing

    Our data-driven approach enables us to understand every aspect of end-to-end consumer journeys, and powers our work from start to finish.

  • Business Consulting & Design Transformation

    We work with our clients not only to define and deliver products, services and communications, but also to design the business itself.

  • Transformational Technology

    We help our clients reinvent their technical infrastructure and roadmap in order to deliver for the needs of today and tomorrow.

  • Services, Platforms & Products

    We create best-in-class platforms built around both the user and the business goals, often extending into connected physical expressions.

  • Integrated Marketing

    We deliver the right messages to new and existing customers across the entire ecosystem.

Join Our Team

We're not typical, and neither are you. We're always looking to hire smart, interesting and forward-thinking people.
See All Open Positions

Code and Theory is a proud member of Stagwell Group. Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at