Royle to direct comms for GE Capital through Europe

GE Capital (GEC) has created the role of communications director

for Europe in a bid to make the sprawling organisation better

understood.



The financial services arm of General Electric - the world's largest

company, with a market capitalisation of more than pounds 250bn - has

appointed Ivan Royle to the role.



GEC is composed of 24 autonomous business units, and Royle is tasked

with both forging a coherent message about them and aiding smooth

communication among their combined 25,000 European staff. His remit

covers government affairs, internal communications and the press

office.



While GEC has only a small in-house PR staff, it places great faith in

key agency relationships. Despite a review of the corporate account last

year (PRWeek, 10 March 2000), it remains with long-time incumbent Hill &

Knowlton. City agency Financial Dynamics is retained by both GE Equity,

the firm's venture capital arm, and GE Real Estate.



Royle said there would be scope for more agencies to be hired on a

project basis but that his first priority would be to tour the 24

businesses and establish communications goals with them.



He joined the company last week from GCI Financial, where he has spent

more than 18 months, most recently as an account director. Before that,

he served 18 months as senior press officer at the Corporation of

London.



Prior to that, he ran his own corporate entertainment agency for three

years.



In his latest role, Royle reports to Charles Alexander, the president of

GEC Europe, and John Oliver, the global head of corporate

communications, in the company's US headquarters.



GEC accounts for more than half the parent company's total revenues of

almost pounds 100bn last year. Of that, roughly pounds 10bn is produced

by the European arm.



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