The Romans unveils new management team after 'record-breaking year'

The Romans has unveiled its new management team - internally hailed as the 'PR Galacticos' - which includes a new managing director. The move follows a 'record year' of new business wins and revenue growth, PRWeek can reveal.

(L-R) Lucy McGettigan, Ottilie Ratcliffe, Roxy Kalha, Paddy Hobbs and Joe Mackay-Sinclair
(L-R) Lucy McGettigan, Ottilie Ratcliffe, Roxy Kalha, Paddy Hobbs and Joe Mackay-Sinclair

The Romans’ founder and ECD Joe Mackay-Sinclair will continue to lead the agency, but has promoted Roxy Kalha, previously a director, to managing director.

Joining them on the leadership team are: Paddy Hobbs, who has been promoted to director, Lucy McGettigan (director) and Ottilie Ratcliffe (associate creative).

It is the first major leadership restructure since The Romans split with co-founder and former CEO Misha Dhanak last July.

Mackay-Sinclair told PRWeek the promotions were earned on the back of a record-breaking year, which included 30 per cent annual revenue growth, greater profitability, the additional of about 20 new clients  the agency’s biggest haul of industry awards, including three PRWeek Awards and a D&AD pencil.

"We’ve had a wonderful year, including winning more awards than any other agency in London, and this is down to the hard work of Roxy, Lucy, Paddy and Ottilie," he said, describing the management team as the ‘PR Galacticos’.

"The goal is scale and by having such a strong senior bench of talent it means that we grow far faster and attract more and more talent."

The Romans boss added that although consumer PR will always be the agency’s "heartland", he "wouldn’t rule out adding other diverse verticals to move into".

A stellar year

In the past year, The Romans have added a range of high-profile clients, including Santander, Eve Sleep, Ben & Jerry’s, Ella’s Kitchen, Ecover, Go Compare, Badoo, Deezer, Nestle and Ovo Energy.

When Dhanak suddenly departed, questions were raised about which direction the agency would take, but 30 per cent revenue growth indicates a business that has continued to thrive.

New MD Kalha has worked at the agency for four years, joining from M&C Saatchi Public Relations, where she was a global director.

She previously held roles as head of lifestyle at W Communications and associate director at Weber Shandwick in its consumer practice. She has led award-winning campaigns for brands including Facebook, Gordon’s, EDF Energy and W Hotels.

"2019 was by far the most successful year we’ve had to date, both creatively and commercially. Braver briefs, bigger budgets, better work," she said. "I’m most excited about the sheer power of human potential already housed at The Romans and just what they can accomplish with the right guidance, development and encouragement."

Hobbs joined from W Communications and was formerly head of sport at PrettyGreen. He leads the agency’s mental wellbeing proposition and brokered The Romans relationship with CALM to support the agency’s mental health training programme over the past 12 months.

McGettigan joined The Romans two years ago, having previously worked at Frank for five years. She has been responsible for delivering award-winning campaigns, including ‘When Life Gives You Melons’ for Freya Lingerie, and ‘It’s A Wonderful Line’ for Virgin Trains.

Ratcliffe, a past PR Week 30 Under 30 alumni and Cannes Young Lion winner, is the second full-time creative on The Romans management team. The agency said this signals the agency’s focus on "being an ideas-first earned media business".

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