Hammerson calls in FTI for corporate brief

FTSE 100 property giant Hammerson has switched its corporate PR to FTI Consulting as it readies a raft of major UK developments.

Westfield Croydon: mock-up of proposed development
Westfield Croydon: mock-up of proposed development

PRWeek has learned that the firm changed its retained PR adviser from Brunswick earlier this year. Additionally, FTI Consulting has picked up a separate brief in recent weeks to handle PR for the £1bn Hammerson/Westfield joint retail venture in Croydon.

FTI is thought to have picked up company-wide work without a competitive pitch, bringing an end to Hammerson’s relationship with Brunswick after more than a decade.

The Croydon retail development is run by a separate team, which appointed FTI after a competitive pitch.

Morgan Bone, director of corporate comms at Hammerson, confirmed that FTI was providing ‘strategic comms advice’, though the firm’s in-house team continues to handle day-to-day comms and financial calendar work. Bone, who joined Hammerson from Fishburn Hedges in 2009, said FTI will focus on gaining the same level of traction within the retail media as the firm enjoys with the property media.

Dido Laurimore, a managing director at FTI and an international real estate specialist, is leading the account.

The move coincides with a number of large-scale projects Hammerson is planning across the UK. In addition to the Westfield Croydon joint venture, Hammerson has submitted plans for a £70m leisure project in Southampton, a £130m retail development in Leeds and last week it increased its stake in Birmingham’s Bullring centre to 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, FTI has hired back Jonathan Earl from Powerscourt to become MD in its Dubai office.

Earl led the financial services team at Powerscourt, having joined the agency in November 2010. He previously worked for FTI in the Middle East between 2007 and 2010 and also formerly managed financial and corporate communications across Vodafone's international networks.

His appointment coincides with FTI Consulting winning a mandate from Dubai property group Damac to lead comms on a multi-million pound float on the London Stock Exchange. FTI declined to comment on Damac.

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