'A year of consolidation and change': Bell Pottinger CEO reflects on life after Bell

Bell Pottinger's global CEO said the agency restructured much of its business and argues it performed "credibly" in 2016, the year that formidable co-founder Lord Bell left the firm.

Henderson (l) leads Bell Pottinger post-Bell (r)
Henderson (l) leads Bell Pottinger post-Bell (r)

James Henderson said the firm suffered in the first part of 2016, saying that Brexit meant many companies were putting plans on hold, especially concerning mergers and acquisitions.

Read more in the full the full profile on Bell Pottinger from the Global Agency Business Report

Despite PRWeek's estimate that the firm's revenue shrunk by 3 per cent over the year – which saw it drop two places to 11th in the PRWeek Top 150 – Henderson said the business saw "a big improvement" in the second half of the year.

"It has been a year of consoli­dation and change – we restructured the business in all areas, and took on a number of people," Henderson said.

Lord Bell left the firm in August, and while its political, financial and corporate teams were relatively unchanged, its consumer, brand and digital practice were restructured into the new Engage offering, and the geopolitical, crisis and ligitation businesses were combined into a global advisory practice.

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