The Week in City & Corporate

Kazakhstan bank brings in Merlin, Redleaf named financial PR firm of the year.

Kazkommertsbank, one of the largest banks in Kazakhstan, has appointed Merlin as its international public relations consultant. Merlin will advise the bank on international media relations and communications as it targets international investor audiences. The account will be led by directors Paul Farrow and Leonid Fink, reporting to Paul Downes, Merlin's CEO.

Drax, the FTSE 100 energy firm, has given Manchester-based Pendragon PR a stakeholder comms brief as it attempts to secure planning permission for three renewable energy plants in the UK. The agency secured the brief in a competitive pitch against three national agencies.

Goodman Group, the international property firm, has brought in FD to handle its PR brief in the UK. FD secured the brief following a competitive tender process, replacing incumbent agency Cohn & Wolfe. The agency will look to build awareness of the Goodman brand in the UK real estate sector. FD already acts for the company's pan-European operations.

Saffron Chase has hired a new advisory board to boost its credentials as an emerging markets specialist. The three members are: Alex Crossman, head of strategy and communications for global markets at Deutsche Bank; Rita Payne, BBC World's former Asia editor and current chair of the UK branch of the Commonwealth Journalists Association; and Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, offshoring director of the National Outsourcing Association.

Redleaf Communications was named financial PR company of the year at the 2009 Growth Company Awards. The awards, organised by business publication Growth Company Investor, are based on responses from AIM and PLUS companies.

Old Mutual has appointed Patrick Bowes as head of group investor relations. He joins Old Mutual from Merrill Lynch and, prior to that, JP Morgan, and is experienced in investment banking and corporate broking, specialising in financial institutions in both the UK and European equity capital markets.

Broadgate has been named public relations manager of the year at the UK pensions awards 2009. It is the third time it has won the accolade since 2005.

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