'Role models for our next generation': Bell Pottinger adds four new partners

A former TV producer and a 10-year servant of the UK's Royal Navy are among four associate partners to be promoted to the role of partner at Bell Pottinger.

Promoted quartet: clockwise from top left; Gater, Naylor-Leyland, Allan, Hipkiss
Promoted quartet: clockwise from top left; Gater, Naylor-Leyland, Allan, Hipkiss

Andrew Allan, James Gater, Julia Hipkiss and Victoria Naylor-Leyland will all take the promotion, effective from 1 April, following an annual partner selection process by the firm.

Bell Pottinger is continuing to reshape after eponymous co-founder Lord Bell left the business three decades after setting it up, when he announced in August that he would set up a new PR business called Sans Frontières.

Qualified accountant Allan joined the firm in late 2015. He oversees the firm's management and financial teams across all its offices. He joined the agency from digital agency Publicis.Sapient, having previously worked for accountants Grant Thornton and MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Gater spent 10 years in the Royal Navy, including as a British Forces spokesman, and leading NATO's Afghan press office. He remains a special adviser to the Royal Navy's head of comms. Gater, who is part of Bell Pottinger's global advisory team, joined the agency in 2012.

Hipkiss also joined the firm in 2012. She has specific expertise and experience in the property sector, and also leads the agency's efforts at improving measurement and evaluation in communications.

Naylor-Leyland is head of creative and content at Engage by Bell Pottinger, the firm's new practice that encompasses what was previously its corporate, brand, consumer, digital and design teams. She joined the company 18 months ago having spent a decade working in television as a producer and director on programmes for ITV, Sky and the BBC. She also manages a two-person creative team the firm announced last year, including a former soap actor and a part-time singer-songwriter.

Group CEO James Henderson said: "I am delighted to announce these promotions. All four candidates have worked extremely hard to earn their promotions, having shown great dedication to their clients and their role in the business, and delivering tangible contributions to the continued growth of the business. They are great role models for our next generation of talent."

Bell Pottinger now has a total of 57 Partners across its UK, Asia and Middle East offices - 16 of whom are women.


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