LONDON: Newgate Communications has launched a business in Australia, continuing its strategy of recruiting former Kreab Gavin Anderson executives to grow its international network.
The Porta Communications-owned agency has hired former KGA managing partner Brian Tyson to lead Newgate Australia and manage a start-up team of 20 consultants.
Much of the group is drawn from former KGA staffers, including the new business' deputy managing partner, Felicity Allen, a 17-year KGA veteran in Australia. Sue Vercoe will head the market and social research division, having been CEO at KGA division GA Research.
Other partners drawn from Kreab Gavin Anderson include corporate and financial communication specialists Greg Baxter and Miche Paterson, social-media-focused Feyi Akindoyeni, and infrastructure specialist Jodie Brough.
It is understood that the defection of Kreab Gavin Anderson's Australian team to Newgate was triggered by a failure to agree to a managed buy-out of the business with KGA's leadership team. Similarly fruitless MBO discussions in Europe and Asia led to the departure of a number of top KGA executives late last year, many of whom have subsequently joined Newgate.
“The launch of Newgate Australia is an exciting and significant next step in Newgate's growth strategy,” said David Wright, CEO of Newgate parent Porta Communications. “The opportunities in Australia have proved to be more substantial than originally anticipated and therefore required greater investment. However, we believe this will create a more substantial business and provide greater returns in the future.”
The firm expects the 20-strong team to grow to 30 in the” short term” and intends to add offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, as well as a trade comms office in Shanghai.
“We believe that our team here has impeccable connections across business, the political spectrum, government agencies at federal and state levels, and the media,” said Tyson. “Clients have trusted us over many years to work alongside them delivering some of Australia's most complex and challenging corporate and government projects. We look forward to continuing that tradition in an exciting new venture.”
Newgate, the fastest growing agency in PRWeek UK's Top 150 Consultancies report, has rapidly expanded its international footprint over the past year.
The group hired former Kreab Gavin Anderson managing partner Fergus Wylie as director of international development and has brought on former KGA executives Terence Foo and Richard Barton to open businesses under the Newgate brand in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.
Last week, Porta announced a five-fold year-on-year increase in revenues for the first six months of 2013.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.