Chris Matthews becomes chairman as Peregrine Communications targets US

Peregrine Communications has appointed industry veteran Chris Matthews as chairman to help co-ordinate the business as it seeks to establish a US presence.

Chris Matthews: Peregrine's new chairman
Chris Matthews: Peregrine's new chairman

Matthews has been handed the new role off the back of a career that encompasses leading agencies such as Hogarth and Engine Business, the forerunner of today’s MHP.

His hire comes as Peregrine, a financial PR agency specialising in asset management, staffs up its recently opened New York office.

Founder and group CEO of Peregrine Anthony Payne called Matthews, who was also CEO of Shandwick Consultants (the precursor to Weber Shandwick), "one of the greats".

Though Matthews will continue his work at consultancies Sutherland & SutherlandPugh, Payne said he would have a "very hands on role" at Peregrine, adding: 

"We are becoming a more complex business, with London and now New York and a lot of moving parts, whether it is the content, strategy and design business or our growing focus on private equity. In terms of the stresses and strains on me as CEO I felt I’d benefit from senior support and someone who has been at the top of their game for years."

Peregrine director Max Hilton will move to the US in August to lead the new office, which will also include Peter Roche, Ed Dunne and Christine Cannon. 

Michaela Morales will also join from Prosek and spend three months in Peregrine’s London office before moving to the US. 

However Payne added that US work would not be limited to those based in the country but co-ordinated across the whole senior team at Peregrine.

The Manhattan office was not viewed "as a satellite to our European operation", he added, but a "hub for our clients who wish to access US, European and global investors.

"We’ve seen a lot of agencies open up offices in New York and many have failed because they have recruited people who aren’t part of their culture. That’s something we’re keen to avoid, and this will be very much one team but two locations."

Peregrine’s clients include including Acadian Asset Management, Brevan Howard Capital Management, Dexion Capital, JP Morgan Private Equity and Wells Fargo Asset Management.

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