H&K global corporate practice president Harlan Teller; US director of litigation services asset group Harlan Loeb; and head of CSR and head of the firm's Chicago corporate arm James Sloan are now leading FD's new branch in the city.
Teller has been appointed general manager of FD in Chicago with Loeb heading the office's litigation communications practice. Sloan has joined as SV-P.
FD is the second M&A and financial communications firm to establish a Chicago beachhead in the past two years. Citigate Sard Verbinnen opened an office there in 2003.
Chicago will be FD's fifth US office and is opening amid growing competition for the increasing amount of M&A work in midwestern America.
'We have an overall strategy to be in large centres of influence. The obvious next expansion for us was in the Midwest,' said New York-based FD president and CEO Declan Kelly.
But Kelly stressed that FD's Chicago office would be doing more than just M&A work.
'We intend to build a replica of our business as it exists in other markets to include investor relations and corporate affairs practices,' he said.
H&K's Chicago general manager Steve Singerman said the firm would appoint replacements for the lost executives and would use resources from other offices while it hunts for new staff.
Neither Singerman nor Kelly would comment on whether the three H&K staffers left with any type of non-compete or client-tampering contracts in place.
Chicago is home to at least 11 of the companies that make up the Fortune 500 list of the top US corporations, including Boeing, Aon and Sara Lee.