Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA), the largest retail bank in
Africa, has chosen Shandwick Consultants as its financial PR adviser.
The appointment follows an extensive trawl among City firms earlier this
month by ABSA’s corporate affairs director Alec Hogg (PR Week 9
February). College Hill, Dewe Rogerson, Lowe Bell Financial, Ludgate,
Citigate and Brunswick were all approached.
Initial presentations were followed by a three way pitch between College
Hill, Shandwick and Dewe Rogerson, with pitches from the latter two
agencies overseen by ABSA chief executive Danie Cronje.
Shandwick will handle financial media relations, focusing on key markets
in London, Hamburg, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. From
the end of June it will also take responsibility for investor relations
- handled by College Hill since December.
The account will be led by Shandwick director James Poole out of London.
‘It’s a relatively new name and it has suddenly found itself the biggest
bank in South Africa,’ said Shandwick marketing director Jonathan Mason.
‘It has to get that message across in all those capitals.’
Mason added that the absence of a wholly-owned Shandwick subsidiary in
South Africa had not presented the agency with a problem. ‘It wasn’t
their requirement and that wasn’t relevant at all,’ he said. ‘They
wanted to deal specifically with London.’