NEW YORK: Edelman has appointed Debra Wasser as EVP for financial communications and special situations, a newly created role.
She joined the firm on Monday, reporting to financial communications and special situations MD Lex Suvanto. She is leading Edelman’s IR practice in New York, which has 20 staffers, and is collaborating with IR and comms professionals in the firm’s other offices around the world. She has no direct reports.
Wasser is tasked with evolving Edelman’s financial comms practice and advising clients globally on IR and financial comms issues. She will focus on investor relations as it pertains to corporate M&A, capital markets, IPOs, spinoffs, and shareholder activism.
"I am taking the IR expertise I have and blending it with the strategic comms and breadth of services Edelman has," Wasser explained.
Edelman created the position as part of its efforts to invest in and strengthen its financial communications practice and capabilities, according to Suvanto.
"We are quickly growing as a financial communications practice and taking on more clients and providing more services to our clients along these lines," he said. "So this is really an expansion and growth hire."
Most recently, Wasser served as SVP of IR and corporate communications for Veeco, leading the tech company’s communications programs, including media relations and marketing comms. During 17 years at Veeco, she handled comms for one CEO transition and two CFO transitions, a major accounting review, M&A transactions, several new market introductions, as well as organizational restructurings and a company rebranding.
Jeffrey Pina, Veeco’s former head of marketing communications, became head of corporate and marketing communications when Wasser departed. He is absorbing her corporate comms responsibilities, and the company is recruiting a new IR head.
In the meantime, Edelman is supporting the company on investor relations, said Pina, who added that she did a "phenomenal job for Veeco."
Previously, Wasser was a VP and later SVP at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, running the firm’s US IR client base with a focus on healthcare, technology, consumer products, financial services, publishing, and general industry, according to her LinkedIn profile.
One year ago, Edelman brought on Rebecca Kral and Chad Tendler as VPs in the firm’s financial communications and special situations practice, according to their LinkedIn profiles. The agency also expanded its financial communications and special situations practice in Toronto last summer with the hire of David Ryan as SVP, financial comms.