40 Under 40 2018 | Chris Ryall

In the course of just seven years, Chris Ryall has risen from a graduate position in corporate finance to MD of one of the leading global financial communications firms. At 23, Ryall was leading comms and government relations for Anglo American’s $430 million sale of the Scaw Metals Group in South Africa. At 24, he rose to managing comms and external affairs for Anglo American’s entire divestment program, including the merger of Tarmac and Lafarge U.K. and the sale of the Amapa iron ore system in Brazil.

Now 31, Ryall is one of the youngest MDs in Finsbury’s history and is playing a leading role in the expansion of the firm’s U.S. business. Over the course of his short career, this financial comms pro advised on deals worth more than $300 billion for clients in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals, consumer, and telecommunications to natural resources and industrials.

Ryall has become a key ambassador for and link between Finsbury’s European and U.S. branches, ensuring smooth, efficient global cooperation on cross-border transactions. He continues to lead and advise on some of the largest and most complex financial transactions and special situations of the past several years. His global experience, strategic insight, and ability to win the trust of clients in very sensitive situations makes him a true rising star of M&A communications.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, colleagues say Ryall is among the most valued and appreciated members at his firm. "He makes mentoring his team members a priority" and "always seeks to highlight their work to partners at the firm" say coworkers. 

- Ryall pioneered a partnership between Finsbury and the Taylor Bennett Foundation in London to encourage students from nontraditional feeder schools and universities to enter the PR profession.

- He helped run the Legacy10 campaign, an independent campaign to encourage charitable giving in the U.K., in London for two years and founded the Legacy10 Award for Excellence.

- In high school, Ryall was named World Persuasive Speaking Champion in 2004 and represented South Africa twice at the World Schools Debating Championships.

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