Lynton Crosby's lobbying firm makes heavyweight hire

Sir Lynton Crosby's controversial campaigns consultancy, CTF Partners, has appointed former civil servant-turned-senior lobbyist Martin Le Jeune as a director.

Martin Le Jeune, director, CTF Partners
Martin Le Jeune, director, CTF Partners

Le Jeune, who was senior managing director at Teneo Blue Rubicon until June this year, took up his new role last week.

He will work closely alongside the agency’s managing director, Sam Lyon, and his senior leadership team.

Friends in high places

Lyon was the director of communications and official spokesman to Boris Johnson when the prime minister was the Mayor of London.

Lyon said: "We are delighted to bring Martin on board into our senior leadership team. He has an extremely strong track record in strategic communications, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a proven ability to win new business."

The appointment will help the "expand our expertise, continue delivering results for clients, and accelerate our already strong growth," he added.

CTF Partners had a turnover of £19.4m and an operating profit of £4m in the year ending June 2018, according to its latest accounts.

More than 40 staff work at its offices in Mayfair, London.

The firm’s strategic report, in its accounts, states that it "is dependent on the ability of its staff to provide expert consultancy and therefore considerable emphasis is placed on the recruitment and retention of skilled staff".

It adds that the company "often operates on high-profile assignments and consequently there are risks to the group's reputation which could result in lost revenues or profits or destruction of shareholder value, as a consequence of adverse publicity triggered by the exposure to media attention from either directors or clients of the group. The company manages this risk through performing anti-money laundering and other checks on its clients and potential clients."

Commenting on his new role, Le Jeune said: "When I was approached to join Sam and the team I was immediately excited. CTF Partners' diagnostic research, its proven and unique campaign methodology and its distinctive and intellectually rigorous approach stands it out, alongside its track record in delivering results for clients. I can't wait to be part of the next stage in its success."

Bigger picture

CTF Partners is one of 17 firms that make up the CT Group, which is notorious for its secrecy over its clients, with the group’s website claiming: "All information about our clients is treated in strictest confidence. We will never disclose their names and we will never publicly discuss our work, unless required by law."

Crosby, who was given a knighthood after helping the Conservatives win the 2015 general election, has played a part in the success of centre-right parties at several general elections in Australia. He also advised Boris Johnson on both his London mayoral victories.

Earlier this month 
it emerged that CTF Partners is being investigated by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists in relation to a potential breach of lobbying laws by acting as an unregistered lobbyist.

Career outline

Le Jeune started out as a fast-stream civil servant in the Cabinet Office, spending more than a decade in Whitehall during which he was an assistant secretary for the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life.

He was also the private secretary for arts ministers Richard Luce and David Mellor, and in 1993 embarked on a two-year secondment to National Westminster Bank as head of public policy.

Le Jeune joined Fishburn Hedges in 1998 as a consultant in its public affairs team. By the time he left in 2005, he had become a board director and head of the consultancy’s corporate responsibility work.

A three-year stint as director of public affairs at Sky followed, and in 2007 Le Jeune became a founding partner of public affairs specialist Open Road, which was bought by Blue Rubicon in 2014.

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