As PRWeek reported last Friday, Fishburn Hedges Group's thriving consumer agency Seventy Seven was rocked by the news that the agency's three managing partners James Gordon-MacIntosh, Jo Carr and Alan Twigg would all be leaving to start new projects.
PRWeek understands Gordon-MacIntosh and Carr are set to strike a deal with Lansons, which would see the financial PR agency become a significant minority stakeholder in a new consumer agency.
It is thought the new consumer shop will be an independent company majority-owned by Gordon-MacIntosh and Carr, which will work in partnership with Lansons on brand and consumer clients.
Lansons has built an offering in consumer financial services and online PR, but has found it tougher to gain a strong foothold in the more general consumer market, and is understood to see partnership as a more fruitful model than an own-brand venture.
Meanwhile, Twigg is set to launch an independent consumer venture later this year.
Seventy Seven has grown to be one of the key players in the consumer sector, with fee incomes thought to be pushing £3m. However, PRWeek understands that a key motivation for the three departures was the desire to own significant equity in their respective businesses. Fishburn Hegdges is wholly owned by AMV Group, which in turn is owned by Omnicom.
Carr, Gordon-MacIntosh, and Twigg all declined to comment, as did Lansons.
The departures of Seventy Seven's senior team has left the Fishburn Hedges Group looking for new leadership for the agency, with Fishburn's new executive chairman Simon Matthews leading the search.
THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
James Gordon-MacIntosh was one of the team that started Seventy Seven PR in 2004 and has been with the Fishburn Hedges Group since 1998.
Jo Carr joined Seventy Seven in 2008 as managing partner from Teamspirit PR.
Alan Twigg joined Seventy Seven in 2007 as managing partner from Nexus PR. He was previously consumer director at Harrison Cowley.