LONDON: As part of major changes to its European management structure, Burson-Marsteller has named a managing director in its London office - the first such appointment in four years.
LONDON: As part of major changes to its European management
structure, Burson-Marsteller has named a managing director in its London
office - the first such appointment in four years.
Allan Biggar, currently head of the firm’s public affairs practice in
Europe and market leader for Brussels, will assume the post early next
month and be responsible for the 185-strong London office.
Biggar, as well as 12 Burson market leaders across Europe, will be
responsible for financial management of the firm’s operations in their
The move, critics claim, marks an about-face for the firm.
In October 1996, Burson dropped the London managing director position
and centralized financial responsibility with European client/practice
heads. The structural changes led to the resignation of UK chief
executive Alison Canning. ’Burson made a fundamental mistake, and is not
putting its hands up and recognizing it,’ said Canning, now managing
director of First and 42nd.
However, European president and chief executive Dermot McNulty insisted
that the shift back to the pre-1996 structure is a result of Burson’s
According to McNulty, the move will allow practice heads to concentrate
on client needs. ’For people with specific skills - such as healthcare -
does it make most sense for them to deal day-to-day with financial
control?’ he asked.