FTI's Pelham-Lane to depart strategic comms unit

LONDON: Geoffrey Pelham-Lane, president of the global strategic communications practice at FTI Consulting, will leave the firm July 27.

LONDON: Geoffrey Pelham-Lane, president of the global strategic communications practice at FTI Consulting, will leave the firm July 27.

Pelham-Lane was appointed to the role in January 2011. He has worked at FTI for 12 years, during which he also served as CEO of the strategic communication group's UK office, COO of the UK financial communications practice, and head of the financial services team. Prior to FTI, Pelham-Lane was director of investor relations at financial services company NatWest Group.

On Friday, FTI said it is laying off 115 employees, or 3% of its workforce, and consolidating leased office space at six locations. As a result, the company will pay a pre-tax income charge of $28 million in the second quarter. FTI estimated that the layoffs and consolidations will result in operational savings of $14 million for the rest of this year.

However, the number of layoffs in FTI's strategic communications arm was “minimal,” and that unit's business is growing, a company source told PRWeek. FTI recently hired David Blackmon as MD of the strategic communication unit's energy and natural resources team to increase the company's presence in the Houston, TX, area.

The strategic communications group reported a revenue drop of 2.9% year-over-year to $45 million in the first quarter of 2012, as well as $2.6 million in operating income. FTI will announce its second-quarter results in August.

A number of firms have changed leadership in recent weeks. Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman will step down at the end of this month, while Grayling CEO Michael Murphy will leave his position as soon as a successor can be found. Rob Flaherty replaced Ray Kotcher as Ketchum's CEO at the beginning of this month.

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