Independent City shop Tulchan Communications has lost founding consultant Andrew Honnor in the same week it emerged ITV was ending its relationship with the agency.
Honnor, who was Tulchan's first consultant, has quit the agency to launch a start-up consultancy.
Details about Honnor's new venture remain unclear, but it is understood it will specialise in private equity and hedge funds and will recruit a number of other financial comms professionals.
Tulchan founder Andrew Grant said of Honnor: 'He's got a good franchise in the hedge fund and private equity world and he wanted to be an MD, strike out on his own and build his own firm. Frankly I find that hard to argue with.'
Honnor was unavailable for comment.
Honnor joined Tulchan in 2000 from Brunswick, where he had worked as an associate partner in New York and London from 1994. During that time he spent two years on secondment to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where he was a special adviser to Virginia Bottomley.
He becomes the second high profile name to leave Tulchan after James Bradley defected to Finsbury recently.
It is understood the timing of the departures relate to Tulchan's recent move from being a limited company to becoming a liability limited partnership. It is thought equity holders in the limited firm were able to monetise their stakes.
Tulchan has enjoyed a strong start to the year, winning briefs with Lloyds Banking Group and G4S.
However, last week it emerged that ITV had parted company with Tulchan, which had held its financial PR account for four years.
Tulchan won the brief from Citigate Dewe Rogerson in 2007. The agency will not take part in pitches after new comms head Mary Fagan indicated she was looking for a new advisory team.
Fagan, formerly director of corporate and government affairs at the Royal Mail, joined the broadcaster in January, replacing Ruth Settle.
One industry source noted Brunswick was in a strong position, having built a relationship with Fagan at Royal Mail. Brunswick previously handled comms for both ITN and STV, but these relationships ended within the past year. FD and Citigate are likely to look to be involved, having pitched back in 2007, and will will be joined by a number of other City heavyweights.