Footitt oversees creation of FD office in HongKong

HONG KONG: Financial Dynamics has snapped up the woman who led rival Citigate Dewe Rogerson's charge into China to open FD's first North Asian office, in Hong Kong.

As CDR's North Asia CEO since last year, Diana Footitt set up offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

FD chief executive Charles Watson said he wanted the office to attract Chinese clients and serve the firm's existing clients.

Footitt will handle communications in China for recently acquired FD client the British Virgin Islands International Financial Centre. The centre, for which FD has been working since July, is keen to attract Far East investment.

CDR has restructured its North Asian management following the departure from Incepta of Footitt 'by mutual agreement'.

CDR Hong Kong & China chairman Keith Goodman said Footitt had taken on 'a group role as adviser to CDR owner Incepta' in March and left 'in the past two to three months'.

Goodman, who is also Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa chief financial officer for Huntsworth, the UK marcoms group acquired by Incepta earlier this year, added that Footitt 'subsequently left the group by mutual agreement over strategic differences'.

Goodman now chairs a five-strong executive committee for Hong Kong and mainland China, put in place after Footitt's departure. Other committee members are Charlotte Bilney, Bruce Schu, Anne Pang, Sukyi Yau and Angela Yu.

The conclusions of Huntsworth/Incepta's strategic review of the joint business are expected to be unveiled later this month.

Footitt led the Hong Kong-based CDR team, which handled Air China's £557m dual listing on the Hong Kong and London Stock Exchanges at the end of last year.

She joined FD last week, where Watson said the firm wanted to expand from two PROs to five or six.

FD's move into the emerging market of China comes hot on the heels of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide's acquisition last week of financial communications specialist iPR Asia (PRWeek, 9 September).

Meanwhile Brunswick, which has operated a regional office in Hong Kong since last year, is now thought to be planning an office opening in Beijing.

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