LONDON: While Brunswick's New York office grows apace, its
London-based parent firm is embroiled in a security imbroglio that has
been splashed all over the UK press.
Executives at the 20-person American beachhead for the financial PR firm
told PRWeek that they have been unaffected by the security lapse, in
which an 80-page file containing information on multi-billion pound
takeovers, mergers and other financial dealings was leaked to UK
newspaper The Guardian.
It is said that a Brunswick employee left the documents on a restaurant
table in London's Covent Garden. The Financial Services Authority (the
UK version of the SEC) has asked the firm some preliminary questions,
but Brunswick officials say they do not expect a lengthy investigation
because the documents contain no price-sensitive information and were
left 'by accident.' Brunswick is also conducting an internal
Cindy Legget-Flynn, senior associate partner at the firm's five-year-old
New York office, said the documents were mainly press cuttings with a
distribution list of involved lawyers and bankers.
According to The Guardian, some of projects mentioned were already known
to the press, such as the pounds 13 billion (dollars 18.6 billion)
takeover of the De Beers diamonds business by mining company Anglo
American. But the article also contained information that may not be as
commonly known, including the suggestion that Brunswick is working for
scandal-plagued Russian energy group OAO Gazprom.
Legget-Flynn said industry peers have said the same mistake could have
happened to them. 'People have been very sympathetic,' she added.