by Lisa Grimaldi | January 01, 2008

James W. Hensley

James W. Hensley

United Kingdom-based destination management company Allied Europe has acquired Carlsbad, Calif.-based PRA Destination Management, one of the largest DMCs in the United States. The new company, which will combine Allied’s seven offices in Europe and the Middle East (Allied Arabia) with PRA’s 19 franchise offices, will be known as Allied International, but the three groups will continue to do business under their current brand names.

Allied’s president and owner, James W. Hensley, has become CEO of the new company, while Patti Roscoe, PRA’s founder and chairman, will serve on Allied’s international board of directors. Besides its U.S. presence, the new firm will have offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, England, France, Italy, Monaco, Oman, Scotland and Spain.

When asked if he plans to expand PRA’s franchise model (which Allied offices currently don’t use), Hensley said that was one of the reasons he was attracted to PRA. “I’ve seen how successful it is,” he noted, adding that he will consider franchises for future offices opened under the Allied brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Among the areas he currently is eyeing for expansion are Portugal; Prague, Czech Republic; and South Africa.

Shari Mill-man, PRA’s vice president, operations, said the U.S. branch will expand its offices (as franchises) in markets where PRA now lacks a presence, such as Boston, Denver, and Washington, D.C.

At present, Hensley and Laura Rednour, president of PRA Destination Manage-ment, are sharing best practices to create standard operating forms and procedures that will be used by all the global offices of Allied International.