Weber Shandwick has announced the expansion of its specialist strategic comms and public affairs unit, Powell Tate, to Australia.
Powell Tate was established in Washington, DC more than 20 years ago, and already has a presence in APAC through its Beijing office.
The agency’s new presence in Sydney will be oversee by executive vice president Jacquelynne Willcox, previously director of Weber Shandwick Australia’s corporate and public affairs practice.
Willcox joined Weber in 2011 from Hill+Knowlton, where she spent six years as director of the government relations and public affairs practice.
She said she has partnered with Powell Tate on several occasions and is excited by the decision to bring the firm to Australia.
"We know organisations are in need of experts to help them navigate often complex public policy issues in Australia, and the introduction of Powell Tate into the market affords us the opportunity to focus on that need.
Ian Rumsby, Weber Shandwick Australia chairman, will also serve as chairman of Powell Tate Australia.
Megan Rosier, Weber Shandwick Melbourne general manager, will lead the agency’s corporate practice and continue as technology practice head.
The move to establish Powell Tate to move Australia was driven by high client demand for specialised public affairs counsel and crisis management, said Baxter Jolly, CEO of Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific.
"Introducing Powell Tate to the Australian market responds to that demand through the provision of insights and ideas grounded in a deep understanding of the political, regulatory and bureaucratic landscape," he said.
Pam Jenkins, president of Powell Tate, said: "This is a significant step in the expansion of our service offer to new markets.
"It comes at a time when our clients are increasingly looking for support, counsel and insights across geographies, and I’m delighted we are now able to deliver that guidance in the Australian market."