The newly merged entity will operate under the StockWell brand and will form a London-based reputation management agency with 20 consultants and more than 40 clients.
The new firm will be led by StockWell managing partners Tim Burt, Philip Gawith and Holloway & Associates’ Richard Holloway, who will become a managing partner in the firm.
The three will be equal equity holders, accounting for a combined majority stake in the enlarged StockWell Group. Iceni Capital Partners, StockWell’s original financial backers, will be a significant minority shareholder in the firm and Julian Hanson-Smith, a partner at Iceni, will continue in the role of chairman at the new firm.
StockWell was founded in 2010 by former Brunswick partner Burt and ex-Maitland CEO Gawith and has worked for clients including Nissan, Xstrata, Alcatel Lucent and Jaguar Land Rover.
Holloway & Associates was launched in 2002 by Holloway and Laura Gilbert, both of whom previously worked with Gawith at Maitland. The agency has particularly focused on supporting international companies’ communications with the London-based financial community, having worked for clients including France Telecom Orange, Sky Italia and EXOR.
Burt and Gawith said in a statement: ‘Richard is one of the most accomplished and experienced advisers practising in the London market and has built a high-quality business, both in terms of people and clients. This combination brings together a powerful mix of experience, allied to product, geographic and sector strengths.’
Gawith told PRWeek that the rationale for the deal was twofold; firstly building an agency of scale that can compete for the City’s top briefs, and secondly the synergy of the businesses and their complementary strengths.
Holloway added: ‘I’ve known both Philip and Tim for many years and have always admired their work and the way they go about it. Bringing our two teams together represents a wonderful opportunity to build a new firm under the StockWell name capable of providing clients with innovative, informed and balanced advice and one that will ensure an exciting, challenging and rewarding environment in which our people can work.’
The merger is effective immediately and the newly enlarged group is currently seeking new premises to bring the two teams together under the same roof.