HONG KONG: Chase Manhattan, the US bank currently merging with investment house JP Morgan, has retained Ketchum-Newscan as its first pan-Asian corporate PR agency.
The account was awarded to Ketchum on the basis of its project work for Chase last year, including handling of the JP Morgan merger announcement on September 13.
Ketchum was retained in February 2000 as Chase's agency of record for the US. This appointment and Ketchum's closer involvement with the bank in Asia-Pacific led to the closure of its regional business with Merrill Lynch in September, although Ketchum said the Chase account was worth 'substantially higher fees' than Merrill.
Ketchum's remit includes financial and corporate PR for the company's post-merger positioning under the name JP Morgan Chase & Co, as well as media training for the company's key spokespersons in the run-up to completion of the deal.
Ketchum-Newscan Hong Kong general manager and senior vice-president Chris Liu will lead the account.
'Chase is one of the key strategic clients for Ketchum-Newscan going into 2001. In terms of size and quality, this will be very significant,' said Liu.
As PRWeek went to press, it was unclear how many current agency relationships in local markets would be affected by the regional account.
Maeve Gallagher, vice-president, corporate marketing and communications at Chase in Hong Kong was unavailable for comment.
Chase uses Ogilvy PR in India, Hill & Knowlton in Hong Kong and Singapore and Golin/Harris Forrest in Singapore for project work.
The new firm is expected to rank number two globally in the mergers and acquisitions advisory market.