Matthew Freud invests in Seven Dials and installs new chief at Freuds

Matthew Freud has acquired a "significant minority" stake in former Independent editor Simon Kelner's PR agency Seven Dials, as well as hiring Seven Dials chair Andrew McGuinness as CEO of Freuds.

Matthew Freud: Investing further in PR with Seven Dials stake
Matthew Freud: Investing further in PR with Seven Dials stake

Accomplished adman McGuinness, a former CEO of TBWA/London and founding partner of Beattie McGuinness Bungay, will take over the leadership of Freuds from Nicola Howson this month.

Howson, CEO of Freuds since June 2010, when she was promoted from head of the corporate practice, will remain a senior partner at the agency but is expected to focus on managing specific parts of the consultancy’s portfolio.

The consultancy, whose clients include KFC and U2’s Bono, boasted a UK turnover of £40m in 2013 according to PRWeek’s recent Top 150 UK Consultancies report. Freud himself remains chairman and majority shareholder.

Seven Dials, which effectively becomes a sister company to Freuds, was launched in May last year with Beattie McGuinness Bungay as 90 per cent shareholder and Kelner holding the remainder.

In January PRWeek revealed that Kelner had acquired the agency outright in December last year, around the same time that McGuinness departed from BMB and joined Seven Dials as chairman.

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