Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt among six new recruits at FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting has recruited former Labour health secretary Patricia Hewitt as part of six new appointments to its UK Public Affairs practice.

Patricia Hewitt: Will work with UK head of public affairs and MD Alex Deane

Hewitt has been made a senior adviser, as has Philippa Roe, the current leader of Westminster City Council who was formerly a director at global banking group Citigroup.

Liam O’Keefe joins as a senior director from Accounting for International Development, the organisation that supports charities and community-based organisations, and before that spent six years at Weber Shandwick. FTI said his new role would involve devising and implementing integrated public affairs and corporate campaigns for the practice’s growing client base.

Alex Holroyd joins as a director from FTI’s Brussels office, where for three years he worked internationally with some of the firm’s key clients.

"Alex specialises in projects involving multi-market advocacy in the EU, Africa and Asia. In London, he will act as a contact point for FTI Consulting’s international Public Affairs offering, connecting the UK with practices in Brussels and Washington DC," said the agency.

Meanwhile, Laura Sainsbury joins FTI Consulting from Bellenden, where she worked with global financial corporates and across the housing, education and energy sectors.

John Gusman joins FTI Consulting as a consultant from rival PLMR, where he worked in public affairs for education, health and social care clients. He has also worked in higher education and for MP David Laws during the last election campaign.

All six will be based in London and work with the newly appointed UK head of public affairs and managing director, Alex Deane.

A key member of Tony Blair’s political circle in the last decade, Hewitt was health secretary between 2005 and 2007 and was also secretary of state for trade and industry and Cabinet minister for women.

After leaving government, she joined the board of BT, leaving in March 2014. Hewitt is currently a director of EuroTunnel Group, a member of the global advisory board of the technology firm Sutherland Global Services and chair of the UK India Business Council.

Deane said: "Adding these talented professionals to our team further strengthens our position as part of FTI Consulting’s global Public Affairs network.

"We’ve recruited some of the best consultants in the business, all of whom will provide another level of strategic insight and depth for our clients' benefit. We’re ready to take advantage of the opportunities arising from FTI Consulting’s cross-sector client base."

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