Grayling nets Sandys for global expansion

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

Andrews role.

- The Allied Irish Bank, the British subsidiary of Ireland's largest

bank, this week appointed Grayling to handle B2B and corporate


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