FD has responded by drafting in Société Générale analyst Ed Firth as MD of its IR practice. Firth is currently working alongside Haville before the latter hands over the reins next week.
Haville joined FD after a stint as an independent business consultant (PRWeek, 14 May 2005). He previously headed College Hill’s IR practice.
‘I’ve been in the [IR] game for five years now and it seemed the right time for a change of direction,’ said Haville. He revealed he would be working as an independent consultant. He is also a director of software company TLCeSmart.
Haville added that he has offered his services to FD on a project basis, although no formal deal has been arranged.
He was formerly a research analyst at James Capel and Morgan Stanley. He has also worked at Smith New Court/Merrill Lynch in equity sales, as a broker dealer in the US, and in research management. In 1999 he was appointed global head of equity research, and made a board representative, at WestLB Panmure.
Haville has an MBA in politics and is a guest lecturer at the Sir John Cass City University business school in London and at Lancaster University Management School.
Firth joins from Société Générale’s Paris office and leads a team of six.
‘There are tremendous opportunities within the IR market right now,’ said Firth. ‘Companies take investor relations very seriously; previously it was just about results reporting twice a year, now it’s a full service.’
Firth said he hoped to grow FD’s IR business to expand on a client list that includes Novartis and Friends Provident.
Last year FD acquired South African media and IR shop Beachhead Media and Investor Relations. FD International took a 74 per cent stake in the Johannesburg and Cape Town-based firm. Beachhead’s ‘black economic empowerment staff trust’ took the rest (PRWeek, 26 January 2006).