Sharkey joins the financial and corporate comms agency as a director, 18 months after becoming CEO of the combined agency when Redleaf bought out Polhill.
He said: ‘It was time to move on from Redleaf Polhill, as the merger had been successfully completed and I was looking for my next challenge.
‘At Smithfield, I will have a more hands-on client-facing role, which will get me back to winning business and advising clients – the parts of consultancy I have always most enjoyed.’
His new role will see him working across all practice areas, focusing on new business development and providing senior counsel to corporate clients and individuals.
Emma Kane, the former CEO of Redleaf who became executive chairman after the merger, has assumed the CEO role at Redleaf Polhill.
Sharkey was a co-founder of Ludgate Group in 1991 after an MBO from advertising agency Murray Hill.
John Kiely, MD of Smithfield, commented: ‘Andrew wants to be somewhere where he can play a key role in helping shape and build the business. This is an important time for Smithfield as we continue to invest for growth and his additional experience and network of contacts will play an important part in this process.’
This week, the agency picked up a retained brief with Longcross Property Investment Fund.
Smithfield will look to help the Guernsey-domiciled fund to attract retail investors via the investment and personal finance media. Smithfield clients include mining giant BHP Billiton and transport firm Stagecoach Group.