The founders of O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul spent most of their careers at large agencies like DDB and FCB — and that’s exactly why they opened up their own shop in Chicago two years ago.

Tom O’Keefe, Matt Reinhard and Nick Paul wanted to bring the big-brand thinking often associated with large agencies to a startup shop, but without the impersonal feel that comes along with giant networks.

“We all felt like there was an opportunity for us,” said Mr. O’Keefe, the agency’s CEO. “The business was shifting and the opportunity was to take big-agency experience and move it into something more nimble, but still treat ideas and work like we did when we were at bigger shops. We wanted strategy and ideas that felt like big ideas.”

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