NEW YORK: The Brunswick Group has hired a veteran corporate attorney as a partner in its financial and crisis communications firm.
Robert Sharpe was most recently SVP, general counsel and public affairs at PepsiCo, where he oversaw several large corporate transactions, including the acquisitions of Quaker Oats and Tropicana. Sharpe said he was partly drawn to Brunswick by his friendship with senior partner Steve Lipin.
"It seemed like an exciting opportunity to try something different, but similar in many ways," said Sharpe.
Sharpe has also worked at RJR Nabisco, where he helped RJR defeat two hostile takeover attempts via proxy fights, and was an adviser for the company in tobacco lawsuits. He also had a brief stint at Tyco, where he advised CEO Dennis Kozlowski on mergers and acquisitions.
Lipin said that although Wall Street deal-making remains slow, Sharpe's experience will be helpful in handling crisis work.
"Rob's experience obviously lends itself to crisis, especially given his work in tobacco litigation," said Lipin. "We are also planning our business 10 years out, and putting together a stable of individuals and institutions here in the US for when the deal business does pick up."
The UK-based Brunswick Group has become a big player in the US strategic communications space, with several high-profile clients. It was recently retained by troubled Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.