Weber Shandwick launches property arm

Weber Shandwick has launched a division dedicated to the property market.

The move will see the world's largest PR agency offer advice on all stages of property developments, drawing on the resources of departments from investor relations to public affairs.

The agency has recruited the former director-general of the British Property Federation, Will McKee - who was awarded the CBE for services to the property industry in the Queen's birthday honours last week - as chairman of the division.

He will work alongside WS director Paul Barnes, who said the operation of the property division would see knowledge from other WS practices used, rather than acting as a standalone unit: 'It will function like areas such as healthcare and technology, which bring together the different skills required for those sectors.'

The division will advise on developments from planning permission requests through to IR, product launches and customer relations.

Barnes said the origins of the division lay in the merger of Weber Shandwick Worldwide and BSMG last year, and the decision to offer co-ordinated advice to property clients, which, he added, earn the agency more than £4m a year.

The property division will involve 14 WS directors, representing all of its UK offices and divisions.

Barnes estimates that between 25 and 30 staff are designated to handling property clients at any time.

Current property clients of the agency include The Crown Estate, Burford and Land Securities.

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