WSW allies with Thomson Financial/Carson

Weber Shandwick Worldwide's (WSW) financial PR division has forged

a strategic alliance with investor relations specialist Thomson

Financial/Carson (TF/C).

The aim is to offer existing and new clients across Europe, the Middle

East and Africa an integrated IR and financial PR service.

The project is being overseen by the WSW UK financial practice CEO

Charles Lankester, together with the TF/C international MD Kevin Brady.

Both principals have ruled out any share-swap and neither will take a

seat on the other's board.

However, they said there was scope for a significant alliance in

pitching for business, cross-selling to each other's clients and

integrating the services they each offer to create products aimed at

communicating client messages to the media, public and investment


The plan is to roll the joint service out across WSW's EMEA network in

Belgium, France, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, and to

affiliates in the Middle East and Africa.

It is the first time TF/C has struck such a deal. The company is a

subsidiary of the pounds 1.5bn provider of financial products, Thomson

Financial, itself a part of Canada's Thomson Corporation.

TF/C's network of offices is smaller than that of WSW, though there is

overlap with its branches in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Brussels and


While the alliance is overseen by Lankester and Brady, much of the nuts

and bolts work involved falls to WSW associate director Mark

Llewellyn-Slade and Angus Prentice, TF/C strategic consulting MD.

Lankester said: 'The dividing line between financial PR and investor

relations is becoming increasingly blurred. We are acting on that.'

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