NEWS: ING Barings poised to hire comms chief

ING Barings, the investment bank formed last year out of the collapsed Barings Bank, is set to appoint its first head of corporate communications before the end of this year.

ING Barings, the investment bank formed last year out of the collapsed

Barings Bank, is set to appoint its first head of corporate

communications before the end of this year.



The company has been using management headhunters Goddard Kay Rogers to

trawl the market for the last six weeks and is considering journalists

and consultancy staff as well as seasoned in-house PR staff for the job.

Two candidates have so far been interviewed.



Based in London, the new recruit will manage and co-ordinate the work of

five existing communications staff across four distinct functions: media

relations, internal communications, corporate entertaining and

advertising.



ING Barings was set up in March 1995 after Dutch bank Internationale

Nederlanden Groep (ING) bought Barings Bank and its investment arm

Baring Asset Management. The bank crashed in March last year as a result

of the trading activities of Nick Leeson, which left Barings with pounds

860 million of liabilities.



Communications for the former Barings Bank was managed by Francis Baring

- now head of corporate communications at SBC Warburg. A cousin of the

bank’s chairman Peter Baring, Francis quit the 233-year-old family firm

in May.



The new head of communications for ING Barings will take responsibility

for the investment bank but not for Baring Asset Management, which

operates independently.



ING Barings has only recently turned its attention to public relations

issues after months of internal restructuring, which last year saw the

dismissal of 21 managers in charge of derivative dealings.



A source close to the bank said: ‘They have only just got through the

general chaos associated with the crash and being acquired, and now they

can afford to be more proactive about communications.’



It remains unclear if part of the new communication chief’s brief will

be to recruit external PR agencies. ING Barings does not currently have

a retained contract with any consultancy, although Barings and ING

worked with Cardew and Co and Dewe Rogerson respectively during the

Leeson crisis.



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