Good Relations Group will include Good Relations, Harvard Public Relations, Insight, Corporate Citizenship and Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger.
Christopher Satterthwaite, chief executive officer of Chime Communications, told PRWeek: ‘People thought this was Chime showing a disinterest in PR. But this will make us a top ten PR agency. It’s a good sector although it has some issues in public affairs, which we’ve experienced.’
He added that the agency would not be providing public affairs services. The news comes after Bell Pottinger experienced considerable scrutiny in the media over its lobbying work after the company was the subject of a sting operation by The Independent last year.
‘I think public affairs is going to change immeasurably,’ he said. ‘We won’t be doing lobbying. We’ll be giving strategic advice on stakeholder management, but we won’t be the intermediary between companies and the Government in the way of traditional lobbying.’
Satterthwaite, who is thought to be strongly supportive of the MBO deal, also wants Chime to focus on sports marketing.
As well as being led by Murray, there will be key roles at Good Relations Group for Good Relations CEO Teresa-Anne Dunleavy, Harvard MD Louie St Claire, Bell Pottinger North MD Chris Warham and Sans Frontieres corporate client lead Simon Jones.
Commenting on the fact that analysts have reacted favourably to the news of the £19.6m sale, Satterthwaite said: ‘I think they can seen it’s a good deal for our shareholders and I think strategically they see it as an evolution of what we’ve been talking about for a while.’