Edelman London financial directors plucked from rival

Edelman London has beefed up its financial team, appointing two key directors from rival City PR firm Grandfield in a bid to boost revenues.

Edelman London has beefed up its financial team, appointing two key directors from rival City PR firm Grandfield in a bid to boost revenues.

The agency has snatched Grandfield's head of plc and corporate, Stephen Benzikie, and founding director Michael Henman as part of plans to revitalise and bolster its existing 20-strong financial division.

Benzikie becomes Edelman's first dedicated London financial head and Henman joins as director. Both start on 1 March.

For the last two years, London MD John Mahony has acted as financial head. He said the practice had projected annual fee income to be worth pounds 5m in two years' time. It currently brings in fees of pounds 1.75m.

The recruits have a remit to move the financial division - traditionally strong in financial services and IR - further into high revenue areas, such as mergers and acquisitions.

Edelman London chairman, Nigel Whittaker, said: 'We are very capable in financial media and IR, but we didn't have substantial M&A, financial calendar and IPOs.'

Benzikie added: 'We'll be looking to areas such as the FTSE 250, which has so far been neglected'.

Financial PR has proved troublesome for Edelman London in recent years.

In 1998, Kirsty Macmaster was appointed European head, only to resign less than six months later.

Whittaker blamed the lack of an integrated culture and said special attention would be paid to that this time.

PRWeek understands the appointments follow an unsuccessful attempt by Edelman to buy Grandfield last year.

Grandfield is currently recruiting to replace Benzikie and Henman.

Grandfield CEO Nick Boakes said: 'This represents an opportunity to find some people who have more experience in the M&A area.'

Grandfield has made a series of senior structural changes coinciding with the departures. Boakes has been promoted from MD to CEO.

Leader, p14.





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