Oke to launch hatch financial offer

The hatch-group has recruited Michael Oke, a founding partner at

Smithfield Financial, to launch and develop the group's financial PR and

IR offering.

Oke, who has more than ten years experience of City PR, will launch the

offer next month. A brand name is yet to be chosen but it is thought it

will be different from that of the parent company.

Michael Murphy, hatch-group CEO and founder, said: 'Financial is

extremely important to our ambitions as it is a high margin part of PR

and is important in helping us target big European and international


'Michael is the first of a team that we hope to build up to four or five

in the coming months. He is young and has international experience,'

Murphy added.

Oke said he would be seeking to build the hatch-group's financial PR and

IR offering by working in partnership with in-house teams.

'Increasingly, companies are now better at both financial media and

investor relations, so they do not require an army of PR people. They

need a small number of more creative and well-connected individuals who

are genuine sector specialists and can add value to what is done

in-house,' Oke said.

He said PR consultancy should be about creative ideas and helping

clients spot what is different and newsworthy about their business.

In terms of IR, Oke said there was an opportunity to generate greater

impact through better integration with other PR activities.

Oke left Smithfield in June 2001 and was working on a review of women's

employment and pay for the Cabinet Office until last month.

Oke started his PR career at the then Lowe Bell Financial in 1992 before

becoming a founding director of Chime's Smithfield Financial in 1992.

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