AS Biss merges with Republic to create Mandate

The AS Biss moniker is set to disappear from PR as the highly renowned public aff­airs agency merges with Rep­ublic PR.

‘Mandate Communications’ has been launched this week and aims to be a ‘high-level corporate and stakeholder communications agency’.

It has been formed as part of The Engine Group, which acquired Republic PR on 6 November from MDs Jane Howard and Deborah Lewis for an undisclosed sum.

The Engine Group has owned AS Biss since 2005. It also owns Slice and advertising agency WCRS.

Veteran lobbyist Adele Biss will continue in her role as a non-executive director of The Engine Group. She has been in this role for the past 18 months.

The former MD of AS Biss, Sacha Deshmukh, will head up the agency as CEO, supported by Howard as chairman. Meanwhile, AS Biss deputy MD Gavin Dev­ine and Lewis will become MDs.

The two agencies have been working closely toge­ther for the past couple of months. Deshmukh said that they had been jointly pitching for business and had secured £200,000 worth of new business in the past two weeks.

Wins include a major PR programme for investment in South East Asia, a legal business and a client in the travel sector.

Deshmukh said the age­ncy had ambitious growth plans and was currently rec­ruiting more staff.

Mandate Communications has a total of 61 staff across two London offices as well an office in Washington DC.

London staff will merge into one office by mid-2008. Principal Matt Decker will continue to head up the Washington office.

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