Walters urges MS&L to aim for 'top ten'

Manning Selvage & Lee's London CEO issues battle cry ahead of departure from the role early next year.

Nicholas Walters, the out­going CEO of Manning Selvage & Lee, this week urged his replacement to ‘focus on public affairs and becoming a top-ten agency'.

Walters, who is to step down from his role early next year (see Related Article) said: ‘We have doubled our size in the past four years [since he took his post], but the agency has an opportun­ity now to become a top-ten player.'

MS&L was ranked 17th in PRWeek's latest Top 150 Consultancies report (PRWeek, 21 April). Fee income for 2005 for the Publicis Groupe agency - which has around 80 staff in its West Kensington offices - was estimated to be £9.45m.

But one ex-staffer, who declines to be named, accu­ses the agency of ‘punching under its weight'. And there has certainly been staff turbulence in more than one division of late. This year alone its 14-strong healthcare team (down from 26 only last year) has had three different heads. Peter Carr currently holds the post after joining MS&L last month (PRWeek, 3 Nov).

Equally, the technology team has seen changes, with Justin Hayward joining from Ogilvy PR Worldwide to become head of tech­nology and telecoms in June (PRWeek, 16 June). More recently it emerged that director Dave Bennett is heading for the exit - with the Xbox account he leads rumoured likely to follow (PRWeek, 27 October).

Former MS&L chief executive Jackie Elliot, who left in 2001, said the agency must now focus on holding onto valued staff.

‘I knew it as a company that was extremely hard to leave - in recent months the reverse seems to have become true,' she said. ‘A new leader with a big vision is required to help the London office take its proper place in the Publicis empire.'

Walters insisted his tenure has been largely successful, citing a ‘resurgence' in the tech and health practices during his four-year reign.

MS&L: LONDON MANAGEMENT

CEO until early 2007;
Nicholas WALTERS

DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS

Consumer;
Kelly WALSH
Corporate; Kate STEELE

GROUP HEADS

Healthcare;
Peter CARR
Tech and telecoms; Justin HAYWARD
Financial services; Duncan HART
Food and drink; Bronwen ANDREWS
Consumer electronics; appointed but not announced
New-business development director; Aysen YILMAZ
Finance director; Tim MORLEY
Planning director; Natalie GODFREY

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.