Keith Simpson, the managing director of UK Top 30 consumer agency
Nexus Choat, is leaving at the end of January, unhappy at agency plans
to grow through acquisition.
As part of the move, Simpson is selling his shareholding in the agency,
but he refused to disclose to whom.
’I am uncomfortable with a strategy of growth by acquisition and would
sooner develop my opportunities elsewhere, although that is yet to be
determined,’ said Simpson.
As a result of his departure, the agency has restructured its senior
management. Deputy managing director Amanda Cryer, who has been with the
company for over 12 years, has taken over as managing director and Jim
Horsley has been appointed to the newly created position of CEO.
Jonathan Choat continues as chairman.
Horsley joins from regional PR shop Leedex GTPR where he was managing
director until its acquisition by Biss Lancaster. Horsley is also a
former managing director of Ketchum PR.
Agency acquisitions are still at the planning stage, but an announcement
is expected in the first quarter of this year. It is looking to build on
its existing experience in food and drink and FMCG.
Nexus Choat was ranked at number 28 with a fee income of pounds 3.7
million in the PR Week Top 150 last year, a 14 per cent increase in
earnings from the year before. The agency was created nearly two years
ago (PR Week, 10 April 1998) following the merger of two sister
agencies: food specialist Nexus PR and consumer agency Choat and
Partners (formerly Cameron Choat).
Nexus was set up in 1988 as second-string to Choat, so it could handle
clients that conflicted with Choat’s existing business. Prior to the
merger in 1998, Simpson had been managing director of Nexus.
Agency clients include Sharwoods, Danepak and Burger King.