NEW YORK: After years of doing financial services PR without a formal practice structure, Shandwick and The GCI Group have finally gotten around to spinning off distinct financial services units.
Shandwick named Billee Howard SVP and director of financial services, a newly formed unit within the agency's corporate and IR group. Howard will oversee a team of five account professionals in the new group, which lists KPMG's tax practice and Muriel Siebert & Co. as clients.
'(The unit) helps add to the level of expertise and depth of the corporate IR group,' said Diane Perry, EVP and national practice director of Shandwick's corporate and IR practice.
Separately, GCI's newly formed financial and professional services group will be helmed by Konstantina George-Khoury. The unit includes legal and real estate clients, and falls under the corporate practice umbrella.
George-Khoury is responsible for managing client programs and staff development, as well as generating new business. She will oversee a group of 10 pros.
'Dina has been an instrumental player in growing our financial and professional services division,' said Jim Cox, EVP and managing director for GCI's corporate practice. Clients already on board include Prudential Securities, Aetna, and New York Life.