National Grid Transco pitches financial brief

Britain's largest utility National Grid Transco (NGT) is putting its City and corporate PR business out to pitch with a view to naming the successful agency by Christmas.

The FTSE 100 group - formed by electricity transmitter National Grid's agreed takeover of gas pipeline operator Lattice - has drawn up a pitch list of five to fight for the account, which covers strategic corporate PR, analyst and investor relations.

Incumbents The Maitland Consultancy and Citigate Dewe Rogerson, which worked with Lattice and National Grid respectively prior to, and throughout, the takeover deal, are understood to be on the shortlist.

NGT group head of media relations Gillian Home said the decision to repitch the work came as a result of the merger: 'With a merger having taken place it makes sense to hold a pitch,' she said, adding the decision does not reflect the incumbents' work.

Home confirmed they are holding the pitch before Christmas and are aiming to start work with the successful agency on 1 January.

The agency will report into NGT group director of corporate affairs John Wybrew.

Home said the brief put out to pitch will cover strategic advisory work and a remit to supporting the in-house team on financial calendar work and public announcements.

'The agency will reinforce our resources and support us in areas where we could benefit from external financial PR expertise,' said Home.

The merger of Lattice into National Grid saw a reshuffle of the PR departments, leading to former Lattice PR chief Home becoming head of media and National Grid external PR head Clive Hawkins becoming deputy head of media.

Martin Blaxall was also named group head of corporate communications, alongside Judith Ward as group head of public affairs; and Gareth Llewellyn as group head of safety, environment and corporate social responsibility.

NGT's other retained agencies, Register Larkin and Luther Pendragon, will not be affected by the City pitch.

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