The Grayling Group has bagged its first international development
director to boost its global expansion plans.
Laura Sandys, the founder of PA and corporate PR firm LSA (which was
bought by BSMG Worldwide two years ago), is to take up the position.
One of her main tasks will be to aid three proposed deals with agencies,
including the acquisition of an unnamed firm in Washington DC.
Nigel Kennedy, Grayling (UK) group CEO, said: 'We felt the time was
right to create this role and appoint someone of Laura's
He is, however, remaining tight-lipped as to which agencies the group is
in talks with. 'All I can say is that we are looking at Washington and
two other places,' he said.
Sandys quit LSA last year and has spent eight months working in
Washington as a journalist and academic.
In her latest role, she will report to Kennedy and be responsible for
international business development, marketing and growth strategy, and
identifying potential acquisitions.
Grayling, which is owned by Havas Advertising Diversified Agencies
Group, has nine offices globally. Recent PR agency acquisitions include
Gilmore in Dublin and Dunwoody in New York.
Earlier this year, Grayling acquired Profile Corporate Communications
and merged it with its London lobbying operation, Grayling Political
Strategy. Its chairman Martin Burrell is running the division following
the departure of CEO Leighton Andrews.
Kennedy said that despite Sandys' experience in public affairs, her role
at Grayling does not include working at GPS. Industry speculation before
the announcement had centred on the likelihood of her taking the old
- The Allied Irish Bank, the British subsidiary of Ireland's largest
bank, this week appointed Grayling to handle B2B and corporate