Rafkin-Sax quits Edelman to be vice chairman at FD

NEW YORK: Financial Dynamics (FD) has snagged Edelman's global MD of financial communications, Hollis Rafkin-Sax, to be its new vice chairman of US operations.

NEW YORK: Financial Dynamics (FD) has snagged Edelman's global MD of financial communications, Hollis Rafkin-Sax, to be its new vice chairman of US operations.

The move is the latest by UK-based FD to grow its franchise in the US, since the firm's leadership led a management buyout of the agency three months ago from its foundering parent company Cordiant. While FD has an established PR brand in the UK, as part of its recent buy-out it also inherited the remains of what was New York-based IR and financial media shop Morgen-Walke. The US unit had been operating under the cobranded banner of FD Morgen-Walke, but the firm dropped Morgen-Walke from the brand in July. Morgen-Walke's founders Lynn Morgen and David Walke left that firm shortly after parent company Lighthouse Global sold to Cordiant in 2000.

The top post at the US operation was handed to former FD-Ireland head Declan Kelly in July.

"We're very serious about entering this market," said Kelly, who is president and CEO of FD's North American operation. "Because we've broadened into corporate communications, in line with the FD model around the world, we see everyone as a competitor, from Edelman and Weber Shandwick to Kekst, Abernathy [MacGregor], and Sard [Verbinnen]."

In her new role, Rafkin-Sax will serve as a member of the firm's board and operating committee. At Edelman, where Rafkin-Sax worked for four years, EVP Richard Mahony will lead the financial practice while a replacement for Rafkin-Sax is sought, according to Matthew Harrington, Eastern region president. Mahony joined Edelman in 2001 from JP Morgan.

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