US expansion for NAPR with launch of New York office.

MONTREAL: In an attempt to make inroads in the US financial communications market, Canadian public relations firm National Public Relations has opened an office in New York and named two principals to expand its American business.

MONTREAL: In an attempt to make inroads in the US financial communications market, Canadian public relations firm National Public Relations has opened an office in New York and named two principals to expand its American business.

US managing partner Edmund Belak told PRWeek the 'tremendous affinity' between the border nations made the expansion 'common sense.' New partners Mark Bonacci and John Shave, both previously with NY-based Georgeson & Company, will work under Belak's leadership. Bonacci formerly led Georgeson's technology practice, while Shave headed the insurance/financial services industry group.

With five employees, the New York office will offer investor and media relations, as well as corporate consulting services. US clients include New York-based paper and pulp company Westvaco and beginning in January 1999, Dayton, Ohio-based information services company Reynolds & Reynolds.

The firm will also assist with Canadian clients such as Sun Life and BioChem Pharma.

The New York branch is only the first phase of the firm's expansion into the US. Next up is Chicago, and possible future sites include Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin, Bonacci said.

Founded in 1976, National Public Relations employs just under 300 people in six offices throughout Canada.

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