Global investment bank Merrill Lynch has formalised its UK public affairs function into a dedicated unit.
Lead by public affairs head Miles Webber, it has hired LLM Communications and appointed an ex-Downing Street official as public affairs manager.
Webber has taken on a group role having joined the investment management division's PR unit in December 1999.
He continues to report to head of corporate communications Jane Ageros and has responsibility for the LLM team, covering UK and EU public affairs and headed by agency director Craig Leviton.
Gill Christopher-Cambers will be his number two. She has spent four years as manager of the Prime Minister's political office having been an assistant to Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell for two years. Prior to that she worked for Labour MP and now Europe Minister Keith Vaz for a year.
Webber joined Merrill from the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union where he was director of communications.
Before that he was a director of Laura Sandys Associates for a year and was in charge of Labour Friends of Israel for three years prior to that.