One of the most powerful and well-connected Democratic consulting firms in Washington is in preliminary talks with potential buyers.
The firm, Precision Strategies, was co-founded by President Joe Biden’s deputy chief of staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon, and Stephanie Cutter, a top adviser on the Biden-blessed outside group Building Back Together. According to a person familiar with the matter, talks have taken place recently about selling the company, whose profile has risen following Biden’s victory.
O’Malley Dillon and Cutter co-founded the firm in 2013 with another alum of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, Teddy Goff. O’Malley Dillon left the firm in 2019 to run Beto O’Rourke’s ill-fated presidential campaign and no longer has a stake in the company, but she did reunite with Cutter and Goff for a live event hosted by the firm in December ahead of Biden’s inauguration.
Cutter helped produce the 2020 Democratic National Convention as well as Biden’s Inaugural festivities — programs she is now re-publicizing in a campaign to win an Emmy.
Precision has also done work for the Democratic National Committee, nonprofits, corporate clients such General Electric and Lyft and the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which successfully pushed Congress to set up a restaurant relief effort during the pandemic.
It’s unclear whether the firm ultimately will decide to sell and Precision declined to comment for this story. But two people familiar with the conversations said Cutter has discussed the possibility with associates.
At a time when the political world is still adjusting to the Biden era, Precision provides some major muscle with the party in power. Its acquisition would also continue a long Washington, D.C., tradition of big firms snapping up smaller ones with ties to a new administration.
The public affairs firm Hill & Knowlton, for instance, bought a lobbying firm run by President George H.W. Bush’s former chief of staff, Craig Fuller, during Bush’s first term. During the younger Bush’s first term, the British conglomerate WPP bought a lobbying firm co-founded by Ed Gillespie, who was a top aide to President George W. Bush’s campaign and later went to work in his White House. And earlier this year, the consulting firm Teneo bought a stake in WestExec Advisors, a firm co-founded by Secretary of State Tony Blinken that’s seen several of its former staffers go into the Biden administration.
WPP, which owns dozens of firms in Washington and around the world, has had discussions about buying Precision, according to the person familiar with the matter. Precision’s chief operating officer, Tom Reno, previously worked for Burson Cohn & Wolfe, which is owned by WPP.
WPP didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.