Trigger leaders Hardwicke and Blevins buy out Calgary agency

Calgary’s Trigger Communications & Design is selling its marketing services division (also known as Trigger) to a management team led by managing director Geoff Hardwicke and creative director Todd Blevins. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Discussions with Trigger Communications president and CEO Larry Bannerman have been ongoing for about a year, says Hardwicke, but “got put on rocket boosters” when the current COVID crisis began to unfold.

Trigger Communications includes a regulatory reporting services division which specializes in annual and interim reporting of financial statements and MRFPs, prospectuses and AIFs and fund facts. That division will be rebranded later this spring.

“Larry has always been much more focused on fin-com, and COVID led to him saying ‘Listen guys, I’m thinking of divesting marcom and if you guys want to take it, let’s have that discussion now,'” says Hardwicke (right in picture).

Trigger has 12 employees and a client roster that includes ENMAX, Fountain Tire, Imperial Oil/Exxon, Parkland Fuels, Inter Pipeline, Calbridge Homes, Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop, and Melcor Developments.

Hardwicke and Blevins each have more than 25 years of industry experience, with Hardwicke joining Trigger in 2017 after spending time with Dentsu Aegis Network, Sid Lee (where he opened the Calgary office in 2014), Hudson’s Bay, Sleeman Breweries and DraftFCB.

Blevins first joined Trigger as CD in 2010, returning to the agency in 2016 after a two-and-a-half-year stint with the Halifax agency Trampoline. He has also worked at Venture Communications and Highwood Communications.

“Geoff and Todd have put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to build an amazing culture and book of business on the marcom side of Trigger,” said Bannerman in a release. “And as the financial communications division grew and demanded more of my focus, it made perfect sense that Geoff and Todd take ownership.”

Hardwicke knows the timing of the takeover isn’t ideal, but is confident of Trigger’s ability to ride out the COVID crisis. “Taking ownership during a pandemic wasn’t really in the cards, but we’ve got some great clients and we’ve been humbled not only by their response but also their well wishes,” he says.

“We’ll be looking at everything in terms of how we can be as efficient, nimble and agile as possible so that when the dust settles and we’re living in whatever the new normal is, Trigger is as healthy or healthier than before.”

Chris Powell