MS&L hires former NYSE exec to ramp up financial capabilities

NEW YORK: Manning, Selvage & Lee is beefing up its financial capabilities and has hired a former New York Stock Exchange managing director as SVP in its global practice.

NEW YORK: Manning, Selvage & Lee is beefing up its financial capabilities and has hired a former New York Stock Exchange managing director as SVP in its global practice.

NEW YORK: Manning, Selvage & Lee is beefing up its financial capabilities and has hired a former New York Stock Exchange managing director as SVP in its global practice.

Richard Simonelli was most recently managing director of financial communications at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, a position he held for three years. For 10 years prior to that he worked at the NYSE, rising to the rank of managing director in the international client service division.

'I was so fortunate to be at the NYSE when I was because I ran the international group back at the beginning of the 1990s when people weren't excited about international stuff,' Simonelli said. 'But boy, did we catch it at the right time.'

At MS&L, Simonelli is expected to build an integrated financial communications business. He said that four or five years ago, agencies and companies typically kept the media relations and IR functions separate, an arrangement that is now changing.

'What we've found over time is that a lot of companies are starting to merge these functions,' Simonelli said. 'They are realizing the need for an overall communications strategy and they want an overall communications message.'

It is just a natural progression, he continued, as businesses have learned that the audience for financial information has grown significantly.

'Companies want agencies to tell them how to get their stock price up, and realize it isn't just about talking to buy- and sell-side analysts, but about using the financial media as well,' Simonelli said. 'You can see this with the onslaught of financial programs and publications today.'

The uncertain economic landscape does not worry Simonelli. He calls the new economy upheavals a 'flight to sanity' and believes more companies than ever will be seeking guidance.

'From an agency point of view the opportunities are greater,' he said.

'It comes down to offering what people need down the line.'



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