The co-heads of Smithfield's small and mid-cap franchise have quit the agency and are set to move to rival City firm Hogarth.
Reg Hoare and Kate Hunt, directors at Smithfield, are understood to have tendered their resignations in mid-January, but are still finalising their terms of exit.
It is thought both were on three-month notice periods and are currently on gardening leave before joining Hogarth.
Industry sources suggested the pair would not be directly replaced, effectively winding down Smithfield's small-cap business, which had already halved to a headcount of four since 2008 through redundancy and internal movements.
It is thought a number of Smithfield's retained small and mid-cap clients will follow Hoare and Hunt to Hogarth, although such details remain under discussion. Under new managing partner Andrew Jaques, Hogarth is understood to be focusing on the small to mid-cap area of the market. Smithfield is likely to focus on larger clients and deal- related business going forward.
Hoare and Hunt have worked together for a number of years, having both joined Smithfield in 2004 from Weber Shandwick Square Mile, along with a number of clients. They also worked together at Ludgate Communications.
The pair's team at Smithfield had 19 AIM-listed clients at the end of 2009, according to Hemscott data. The Hemscott AIM Rankings Guide for Q1 shows FD and Buchanan retain a dominant position.
TOTAL AIM-LISTED CLIENTS Q1 2010
Rank Company No of clients Previous total
1 FD 82 89
2 Buchanan Communications 71 72
3 Pelham Bell Pottinger 58 52
4 College Hill 51 47
5 Abchurch Communications 50 49
FTSE AIM 100 CLIENTS
1 FD 11 11
2 Buchanan Communications 10 12
3 College Hill 6 2
4 Pelham Bell Pottinger 6 5
5= Citigate Dewe Rogerson 5 6
5= Tavistock Communications 5 4