Financial specialist Cognito arrives in 'outward-looking' Amsterdam as local boutiques merge

International financial services and tech specialist Cognito has opened in Amsterdam through the merger of two local firms, with the new office's lead pointing to a post-Brexit shift in client needs.

Neve Public Relations and Omvlee Wordwide have merged to create a Cognito Media Amsterdam, which will work with the broader Cognito business, which also has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Amsterdam operation is majority owned and managed by the eponymous founders of its forerunners, Richard Neve and Jan Jaap Omvlee.

Neve, a former journalist who takes the title of managing partner, said: "Clients' methods of identifying and receiving information are changing and so are boards' expectations, particularly post-Brexit. Clients need visibility and control, and in the movement towards multiple financial centres, we are well placed to serve them in the best way possible from our Amsterdam hub."

Cognito CEO Tom Coombes reiterated this, saying: "The Netherlands is an exciting market for us, as a Eurozone member with a strong financial sector and an outward-looking global trading mentality."

Omvlee, who began his career in advertising, remains in the business as strategy partner. There were no redundancies or departures as a result of the merger.

The eight-person Amsterdam operation will continue to serve the clients of Neve and Omvlee, including Achmea, Aon, Equinix, Himalayan Fund and Unirobe Meeùs Groep.

The firm recently hired an EMEA MD but has also seen several of its US staff leave to join a business formed in 2015 by two former employers.

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