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NEW YORK, February 8, 2017 – Cognito, the specialist communications agency for the financial services industry, has appointed Ryan Barr as a managing director in New York and a member of the global executive team.

Ryan brings more than 20 years of experience to Cognito as clients demand more expertise in areas such as brand reputation management, executive visibility, digital content creation and crisis management. He will help steer the agency’s strategic direction and lead the expansion of Cognito’s broad suite of integrated marketing services to firms seeking to engage and influence key audiences through multichannel communications. He will report to Cognito founder and CEO Tom Coombes and partner with managing director and head of Cognito U.S., Eric Hazard.

“I am delighted to announce Ryan’s arrival,” said founder and CEO, Tom Coombes. “His industry expertise, global experience and proven leadership will help us meet the evolving needs of our clients. We will work collaboratively and with purpose as we define the future of the agency.”

Ryan’s experience working with leading global brands across many industries will complement the agency’s growing portfolio and expanding footprint. Formerly a managing director at Burson-Marsteller, Ryan ran integrated marketing and public relations programs for Bank of America and MassMutual, among other major clients across the agency’s global network. Previously, he was the co-head of Hill & Knowlton’s New York-based Corporate Communications Group and led its Financial Communications and Investor Relations practice. Prior to joining Hill & Knowlton, he was Vice President, Corporate Communications and Strategic Partnerships of Atari, Inc., responsible for the company’s external and internal communications, as well as leading M&A, fundraising and asset divestitures.

“Cognito’s model means companies, whether they are venture-backed startups or multi-billion dollar global firms, get the specialized knowledge they need to engage and influence customers,” said Ryan Barr. “I’ve been impressed with how Cognito partners with clients delivering customized communications strategies. This reflects the market shifting towards fully-integrated, niche agencies and away from siloed practices and bolt-on offerings.”

“Clients no longer hire one agency to issue a press release, one to build an advertising campaign and another to develop digital content,” said Eric Hazard, managing director and head of Cognito U.S. “We’ve built an agency with multi-specialist talent embedded across our teams, allowing us to react faster and engage their audiences through all relevant channels.”