Edelman UK names new Smithfield MD amid leadership shake-up

Edelman UK has announced leadership changes at its Smithfield financial PR and strategic comms team, with head of special projects Iain Dey promoted to managing director.

Dey (pictured) succeeds John Kiely, who co-founded Smithfield in 1998 and moves to an expanded role as chairman of Edelman’s corporate affairs practice.

Former Sunday Times business editor Dey joined Smithfield in 2018three years after its acquisition by EdelmanThe agency said Dey has "become one of the most trusted strategic advisors in Edelman’s UK business".

Edelman said that in his new role, Kiely will "continue to work with clients, while supporting the broader growth of the business and providing counsel to the senior leadership team". He has "overseen a period of continuous year-on-year revenue growth" at Smithfield, Edelman stated.

Meanwhile, Alex Simmons, who currently serves on Edelman’s global financial communications leadership group, will become EMEA head of capital markets at Edelman Smithfield. His focus will be "building the profile of the firm’s work on cross-border transactions with colleagues across the region".

In December, Andy Wilde, previously European head of financial services, was promoted to global chair, financial services.

Hugh Taggart, general manager, corporate affairs, at Edelman UK, said: “The leadership changes reflect the continued success and growing influence of the Edelman Smithfield offer within the firm. Under John’s leadership, the team has cemented its market leading asset management/financial services position, expanded its capital markets proposition while integrating seamlessly with colleagues across corporate affairs.

“In handing over the leadership to Iain, we are redoubling our efforts to attack the capital markets space. Since his arrival from the Sunday Times, Iain has made an enormous impact on the business with his leadership, creativity and deal making capabilities. As the business continues to invest behind its global financial communications capabilities, Iain’s profile in the domestic market will serve to accelerate our growth.”

On acquiring Smithfield in 2015, Edelman UK CEO Ed Williams described it as one of the "last pieces in the jigsaw" for the group's UK offering.

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