Fleishman-Hillard to rebuild after Kevin Bell resigns

Fleishman-Hillard is bolstering its corporate and public affairs teams following the shock departure of Kevin Bell as regional president for the UK, Africa and the Middle East.

Leaving Fleishman-Hillard: regional president Kevin Bell
Leaving Fleishman-Hillard: regional president Kevin Bell

[PIC: Tom Campbell]

The agency has signed up Bell Pottinger Public Affairs director Liam McCloy as a director and other hires are believed to be in the pipeline.

Bell stepped down last week and was immediately placed on gardening leave. In a statement, he said: 'I feel it is simply time for me to look around and take on a new and different challenge.' Sources close to Bell said he planned to take on another agency role.

His announcement is understood to have caught many of his colleagues off-guard and raised eyebrows in the public affairs industry.

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs chairman Peter Bingle, a former colleague at the legendary lobbying outfit Westminster Strategy, said: 'Kevin is one of life's characters. He is a big player full stop. Without him what is Fleishman-Hillard? This is more than just a big blow.'

Other agencies also questioned the strength of F-H's corporate and public affairs offerings. F-H bosses approached by PRWeek declined to comment publicly on this, but privately insisted corporate and public affairs were both growing across the UK and Europe. F-H bosses claimed a number of recent big client wins in these areas - but declined to provide details.

Bell joined GPC International UK, which was subsequently merged with F-H, in 2000.

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