Byrne and Brain to head WSW/BSMG shop

The UK arm of the world's largest PR firm, formed from the merger

of Interpublic Group's Weber Shandwick Worldwide (WSW) and BSMG

Worldwide, will be headed by Colin Byrne and David Brain.

Byrne, currently WSW UK public affairs chief executive and Brain, BSMG

UK chief executive, will become joint UK chief executives of the new

entity, when it merges in October.

Tim Sutton, BSMG Europe chairman, will stay on as interim chairman of

the new company but will stand down early next year.

Before then, Sutton will chair a newly created UK intergration committee

to drive through the merger.

Sutton says he cannot rule out job cuts when the two companies


He said: 'I cannot say hand on heart that they will not be job losses

due to the merger.'

The new company means the end of the BSMG brand, which will roll into

WSW. This includes a merger of the two companies' public affairs

functions, BSMG's GJW, which is headed by principals Wilf Weeks, Andrew

Gifford and Nigel Clarke, and Byrne's WSW PA shop.

Also to be integrated will be the financial operations, BSMG's Square

Mile, headed by Tim Jackaman, and WSW's financial, broadcasting and

interactive division headed by Tessa Curtis.

A search is underway to find new premises, by spring next year, for all

London-based staff of the merged company.

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