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You're reading: Honorable Mention: Robert McNeil

Robert McNeil

As co-founders of the marketing company Pulse, whose clients include the Kyiv Post, Robert McNeil and Stuart McKenzie are coy when it comes to discussing their respective stakes.

Each refers to the other as the senior partner.

Courtesy photo

But the consensus opinion is that the elder of the two, McNeil, who hails from Scotland, is the senior partner.

McNeil arrived in Ukraine in 1993, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and began importing consumer goods to Ukraine for sale in hard-currency stores.

Pulse also started performing marketing and promotion for the goods it was selling, and found a growing demand for these services.

When a change in Ukrainian regulation made small-scale importing unprofitable in 1996, Pulse switched its focus to marketing.

Today it is officially the country’s No. 1 marketing agency by total revenue, according to the State Statistics Committee.

The company has a sales force of 1,400 spread over Ukraine and its list of major clients includes Kyivstar, L’Oreal and Nestle.

Despite having made his fortune in marketing and public relations, the only thing McNeil will say about himself is that he loathes publicity.

“Put it down to my Scottish Calvinist roots,” he said, “but I have always had an aversion to flashiness and boasting.”

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