New financial MD for Weber Shandwick as Steve McCool departs

Weber Shandwick has brought in former Royal & Sun Alliance and Abbey National comms head Thomas Coops to lead its London financial practice.

Departure: Steve McCool
Departure: Steve McCool

Coops will become MD of the agency's 25-strong London financial communications business, taking over from Steve McCool who is leaving to join international corporate comms and public affairs firm Hume Brophy.

Coops was most recently director of external communications at Royal & Sun Alliance following a one-year stint at BA in 2006 as interim director of corporate and media relations. Before that he had a near 20-year career at Abbey National, culminating in serving as its communications director.

‘This is a fabulous opportunity,' Coops said. ‘Weber Shandwick is a great business and it is the perfect time to be moving into the agency world as businesses need comms specialists that can protect and enhance their reputations more than ever before.'

Coops said that his role would also include enhancing the agency's international business, complementing the international experience he built in his previous in-house positions.

Coops started this week, but will not assume the role full-time for another few weeks.

Colin Byrne, the agency's CEO for UK and Europe said: ‘With PR consultancies increasingly needing to understand the in-house business agenda, and how to add real value to in-house teams, Thomas' experienced will add value to our whole London operation, as well as our award-winning international Financial Communications business.'

McCool joins Hume Brophy as a partner and will head its UK business. He became MD of Weber Shandwick's financial arm in 2008, when previous MD Ian Bailey moved to New York. Bailey subsequently left the agency after redundancy in early 2009.


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