PROFILE: Sir Richard Kleinwort, Ogilvy PR Worldwide - Ogilvy PR banks on Kleinwort expertise. Financial guru Sir Richard Kleinwort brings a wealth of experience to Ogilvy PR

Sir Richard Kleinwort, baronet - that's what it says on his business card - is waiting outside the lift on the 10th floor of Ogilvy PR Worldwide's Canary Wharf offices. 'I like this,' he says of the view. 'Reminds me of New York.'

Sir Richard Kleinwort, baronet - that's what it says on his business card - is waiting outside the lift on the 10th floor of Ogilvy PR Worldwide's Canary Wharf offices. 'I like this,' he says of the view. 'Reminds me of New York.'

Two years ago he ran that city's marathon in under four hours and looks quite fit enough to do so again. But the 40-year-old banking heir (Kleinwort Benson is the family firm) does not have a great deal of space at the moment in his diary for pounding the streets - or indeed for 'my family, laughter, travel, sports'(his recreational activities as listed in Debrett's Peerage).

He is the much-vaunted 'final piece of the jigsaw' to join Ogilvy's senior management to give the agency a presence in London's financial PR market - a public admission that the hole in its service had become glaring.

The idea is that the head of the financial division can now secure all the IPOs, listings and other work which Ogilvy has been forced to wave goodbye to in the past.

This is where Kleinwort comes in, and Ogilvy certainly knows what it is getting: the fruits of a successful track record over the last dozen years, for one. Jeremy Wyatt, now PricewaterhouseCoopers EMEA director of marketing and communications, gave him his first job in PR as an account executive at Biss Lancaster Financial in 1988: 'He was energetic, enthusiastic and one of the few people at the time who would think about PR in European terms.'

Speaking four languages - French, German, Spanish 'and a tiny bit of English', Kleinwort says - helped there. He was charming too, and delivered the goods; clients were also, Wyatt admits, 'partly intrigued by his name'.

It must crop up a lot. Yet apart from some holiday work experience, he had eschewed a career at Kleinwort Benson and the attendant nepotism charge. But after university and three very successful years at Deutsche Bank in Hamburg and Frankfurt, he needed a change. Banking was 'too dry', he says. If this came as something of a surprise to him it must have been a bombshell for his family.

Kleinwort is, or was, motivated by the need to 'win his spurs'. They are words he uses often, along with 'challenge', 'ticks in boxes' to indicate experience, and 'well done' - to the photographer, to the lady who brings in the coffee, probably to all. He is unfailingly affable but there is a certain steel ever-present.

Moving at the age of 27 into a new profession he needed determination.

Not only was there a drastic drop in salary to pounds 12,000, there was also the fact that PR appeared slightly, well, low-rent. 'Banking was on a pedestal; PR was way down,' he recalls. So were his friends in banking not surprised? He shakes his head: 'If I'm dedicated to something, it comes across loud and clear.'

His understanding of profit and loss accounts was something that people 'would die for'. After 18 months, he was headhunted by Grandfield Rork Collins Financial and a year of high-profile work with the first of Eurotunnel's myriad refinancing packages began.

When various GRC directors were quitting he decided to leave too. As a founding partner of Cardew & Co in April 1991 he became involved over the next decade with 'numerous tricky floats' and put the agency's European network in place - 'that's my legacy', he says.

'I am a modest person,' he adds. But he also knows his worth and is not afraid of stating it. 'One of my great talents is an amazing ability to motivate people,' he says without evident embarrassment. At another point, talking about his time at Cardew, he says: 'Let's be American about this: Anthony (Cardew) and I were the two big business getters,' adding 'I'd never consider being anything less than the best.'

Interesting professional times are ahead. Two new staff start in January and he predicts his team will rise to 20 in three years. For now he can call on resources from other Ogilvy divisions, such as technology, health and medical.

'I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm bigger than the business. People are dispensable, always will be. I'm a team player, not one of those who sucks out the good from others. I'm not hung up on other people's abilities,' he says.

Biss Lancaster chairman Graham Lancaster says: 'He was a very popular guy, a very 'can do' person. He had no sense of fear, he would just get on with it, with a lot of self-confidence - quite refreshing.'

These qualities will serve his new employer well. Finance and financial PR are sectors where it appears superficially acceptable to be modest about achievements but where, in reality, modesty gets you nowhere.

For all Kleinwort's intellectual rigour, professional expertise and impressive track record, it is a sector where the name on your business card can matter, too. Ogilvy is getting a good deal for its money.


1988: Account executive, Biss Lancaster

1990: Associate director, Grandfield Rork Collins

1991: Founding partner, Cardew & Co

2000: MD of financial practice, Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

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