US legal specialist Infinite PR and London's Spada announced in October 2014 that they would merge on 1 January 2015. This created a business with a turnover of $7m (£4m) on launch, and it now has 40 staff across its three offices, with 21 of those in London.
Infinite was founded by Diaferia in 2001 in New York, while Spada was formed nearly 22 years ago in London by Gavin Ingham Brooke. The firms had begun working together on mutual clients more than 18 months before the merger.
In a deal formally completed last week, Ingham Brooke has sold his majority shareholding for an undisclosed amount, with Diaferia becoming outright owner and global CEO in the management buy-out, announced today. There are plans for Diaferia to sell minority shareholdings to team members, but he will remain the firm's majority owner.
Ingham Brooke will continue as an adviser to the firm.
Diaferia will be joined on the firm's global board by Zach Olsen, who leads the San Francisco office, and London-based chief operating officer Isabel Podda, who came to Spada in 2012 after 17 years at Buchanan Communications. It is completed by non-executive directors Peter Mawson and Anne Groves.
Ingham Brooke said he had known at the time of merger that Diaferia and Olsen would be his successors, and said: "Now just felt the right time for me to look back with real satisfaction on all the things our brilliant team has been able to achieve but also to look forward personally to new creative challenges and projects outside of mainstream PR.
"I am really looking forward to collaborating with the team at Infinite Spada for many years to come – albeit in a slightly different incarnation. I know too that I will see the firm go from strength to strength."