The agency, called Hydra, will offer "board-level advice and senior-only execution", focused on CEOs and comms directors.
Among the partners are former Barratt and Centrica comms director Patrick Law; FTSE100 investor relations veteran Andrew Mills; and former Gavin Anderson director and American Express comms chief Sally Brown. Air Miles co-creator Geoffrey Bean is also on board.
Initial clients include Choice Hotels, private equity firm Duke Street, corporate turnaround group Buchler Phillips, and investment firm London Asia Capital.
The Mayfair-based agency will offer corporate and financial PR, investor relations, brand strategy, internal and change communications, plus litigation support and digital comms.
Benzikie said: "We are a senior team, working alongside our clients’ most senior people. They demand ideas, insight, objectivity, expert knowledge and joined-up thinking across stakeholder groups. That’s what’s missing in both strategy and implementation and what we believe clients are interested in discussing with external advisers. Many already have excellent comms teams, more experienced than the agencies they retain."
Former equity analyst and Daily Mail financial journalist Benzikie worked at Bell Pottinger for more than eight years, joining in 2005 as MD, corporate & financial. His previous PR experience includes a stint at Edelman, where he worked in financial comms and investor relations.
Benzikie has held advisory and non-executive director roles at a number of companies including Lumi Mobile and the app Wamo.