BSMG Worldwide finally bought public affairs agency GJW this week,
paying pounds 8 million for the UK’s largest independent lobbying
GJW will now trade as GJW-BSMG, while LSA, BSMG’s existing public
affairs offering will operate simply as BSMG. BSMG’s UK name of Charles
Barker will be phased out over the coming months. The deal will see GJW
move out of its offices to join BSMG in Leicester Square, and the GJW
Brussels outfit folded into Paul Adamson’s BSMG-owned Belgian
A new board has been created for BSMG Worldwide (UK) with GJW founder
Wilf Weeks as chairman. BSMG CEO Nan Williams will fill the same role,
while Andrew Gifford and Nigel Clarke, GJW’s CEO and finance director
respectively, will join the new board. The remaining directors will be
BSMG’s Pamela Fieldhouse and Ray Eglington, and Tim Sutton, European
chairman of BSMG.
BSMG parent company True North Communications made the acquisition
announcement following its AGM in Chicago yesterday. It is the
culmination of talks GJW held over almost a year with suitors including
Financial Dynamics and Shandwick International.
GJW board director and share holder Rory Chisholm is the only senior
consultant departing the merged entity. Chisholm has been waiting for
the deal to complete so he could take up an offer to head a
newly-created regulatory affairs practice at financial PR agency
Chisholm had been at GJW since 1988 and has been head of its City and
competition unit and a director since the management buyout in 1993
returned the agency to the ownership of its senior staff.
Chisholm joins Finsbury next week as a partner and will work on a client
list boasting Centrica, Northern Rock and Reed Elsevier.