Hanbury makes senior hires including former government adviser

Hanbury Strategy has announced three senior appointments, which also include an ex-senior civil servant and a former Barclays Bank MD.

Paul Stephenson: Hanbury had a "strong start to the year before coronavirus hit"
Paul Stephenson: Hanbury had a "strong start to the year before coronavirus hit"

James Hedgeland, previously special adviser to the Chancellor, joins the strategic advisory firm as a director.

He was formerly an adviser in the Home Office and the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government. Prior to this Hedgeland worked on the Britain Stronger in Europe referendum campaign, and the 2015 Conservative general election campaign.

George Shackleford joins as associate director, having spent the last five years as a civil servant in the Chief Whip’s office, Number 10 and, most recently, the Ministry of Justice.

His roles included briefing the Prime Minister for PMQs, managing legislation through Parliament and advising the current and previous political teams on legislative and parliamentary strategy.

Jim Neale takes the role of partner, head of business development. He has more than 15 years of experience in investment banking and asset management, most recently as a managing director at Barclays.

Hanbury, which was co-founded by 2016 by former Vote Leave comms chief Paul Stephenson, said it is "prioritising staff retention" during the coronavirus crisis and "has no plans to use the Government's furlough scheme".

"While the short-term outlook remains healthy, in order to safeguard jobs, bonuses have been paused for the foreseeable future," the company said.

Stephenson said: "We had a strong start to the year before coronoavirus hit, which has given us a good cushion going into the crisis. But we know that the second half of this year will be a real challenge for all businesses, our own included.

“That’s why we are really pleased that experienced new advisers are joining us to help our clients navigate this turbulent period. Their experience of working with the people who are in charge of the coronavirus response in Number 10 and the Treasury will be invaluable for our clients and further improve the service we offer.

“We are delighted that Jim has joined us after a long career in finance to help us broaden and deepen our client base as we look to come through this unprecedented crisis together in as strong a position as possible.”

Hanbury also announced three senior hires in February as the agency reported revenue of more than £5.5m in 2019.

More recently, Stephenson has helped advise the government on its comms response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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