INTERNATIONAL: GA/F-H join to boost Asia offering

HONG KONG: Omnicom-owned PR agencies Gavin Anderson and Fleishman-Hillard are joining forces in Asia to help boost their offerings and combat tough market conditions.

GA and F-H already share offices in Hong Kong, but are set to co-locate in Singapore as well over the next few months in a bid to save unnecessary costs.

The move leads to the creation of a combined CEO post for GA covering Asia, which will see current Singapore CEO Richard Barton take on the role and relocate to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong CEO and Asia president Laurence Cook is set to return to London next March in an as yet undetermined role.

Singapore director Terence Foo will be promoted to general manager, reporting to Barton.

GA global CEO Richard Constant stressed the agency's partnership with F-H will not lead to a full-blown merger and the two brands will remain separate.

He added the decision will not lead to redundancies: 'These are tough markets and many companies are closing offices - we're not going to close offices there, but we wanted to strengthen our offering and ability to operate in the region and this arrangement makes sense strategically.'

F-H Asia-Pacific senior partner and regional director Lynne Anne Stevenson will work with Barton to develop cross referral business opportunities.

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