The team will be headed by Fishburn Hedges director, Andy Berry, and includes Neil Hedges, the consultancy's chairman, Jason Nisse, its head of emergency relations, Nick Wright, employee engagement director, and Dermot Finch, Fishburn's recently arrived head of public affairs.
It will offer a variety of comms services, from media relations to consumer-facing statements, discussions with regulators, employee engagement and digital communications.
Fishburn Hedges has worked with names in the pensions sector such as the Pension Protection Fund, Lane Clark & Peacock, Legal & General and The Reader's Digest Association.
Andy Berry commented: ‘This is the right time for Fishburn Hedges to draw upon the many years of experience we collectively have advising clients in the pensions arena. Pensions are now right at the top of the corporate agenda and very much a front-of-paper issue. The issue of how to fund retirement is coming to dominate debate in all areas of business, politics and society, and we will help clients navigate through this complex area.’
Earlier this year Fishburn Hedges advised The Reader's Digest Association on the restructuring of its UK pension fund, one of the most high profile cases of its kind, as the rejection of the restructuring plan by The Pensions Regulator led to the UK operation of Reader's Digest being placed in administration.
Berry added: ‘The Reader's Digest case was a classic example of how pensions issues can become make or break for companies, directly affecting employees, customers, suppliers and creditors alike. It also highlights how what might appear to be a small issue within a single subsidiary can potentially threaten global brands and attract huge media interest.’