Movers & Shakers: The Hoffman Agency, Zeno Group, and more

PRWeek Asia’s roundup of account wins and people moves.

The Hoffman Agency has promoted Nicolas Chan (pictured above) to the newly created role of chief strategist for Asia-Pacific. Chan has been with the company since 2019, when he joined as head of digital for the region. The appointment is driven by demand for strategic leadership in the PR industry in Asia-Pacific, coupled the agency’s observation of a lack of strategic roles that focus on the region. Chan’s promotion is also part of company-wide efforts to build out Asia-Pacific leadership. It follows the recent elevation of Caroline Hsu from regional managing director to chief global officer and of Maureen Tseng to general manager of Singapore and Indonesia. In his new role, Chan will advance the agency’s agenda of helping technology companies solve business problems as opposed to communications ones. His primary responsibility will be quality of product, which includes agency methodology: ensuring that the answer to a brief is driven by insights and creativity.

Sling & Stone has won three new APAC-wide clients, and ramped up its teams in Australia and Singapore. AI solution Dataiku, HR platform HiBob, and sustainability management solution Equilibrium have selected the agency to handle their communications strategy and execution across Asia Pacific.  

Zeno Group Malaysia has been tapped by HSBC Malaysia and YTL Communications for integrated communications programmes. Zeno’s remit for HSBC includes a social strategy that complements its new brand promise, 'Opening Up a World of Opportunity'.  Meanwhile for YTL Communications, Zeno is developing PR programmes to raise the profile of its telecommunications brand, YES, in supporting the nation’s agenda of a 5G network and infrastructure. 

RICE Media has announced client services director, Khai Asyraf, is taking over as managing director, while its branded content strategist, Ilyas Sholihyn, is taking on the position of editor-in-chief.

Sefiani, a communications agency, has appointed Therese Raft as senior consultant and Kate Skokan as account director. With 17 years’ communications experience including more than a decade in corporate roles, Raft is a returnee to Sefiani after first joining the agency in 2008. She then held communication leadership roles at Arup, the global design and engineering firm; Grant Thornton, an Australian professional services firm; and Accenture. More recently, Raft was a regular contributor to Australian Financial Review Special Reports, which will continue under flexible work arrangements at Sefiani where she will focus on thought leadership, corporate narrative and compelling content as well as issues, crisis and reputation management. Skokan joins Sefiani from Deloitte, bringing almost 10 years’ communications experience in property, investment and professional services overlaid with a sustainability lens. At Deloitte, Skokan was executive eminence communications manager supporting the firm’s business leaders with external thought leadership and internal communications. Previously, at Lendlease Investment Management, Skokan was investor and communications advisor for five years, before commencing her career as a social media consultant.

Creative communications agency Icon Agency appoints Hamish Fitzsimmons as director of strategic advisory and public affairs. Having recently served as head of corporate affairs with the Australian Energy Council, and senior manager of government affairs at NAB, alongside several senior roles for BUPA, Fitzsimmons’ appointment strengthens the agency’s government and stakeholder relations practice.

Mango Communications Melbourne has been appointed as the PR agency of record for hospitality-driven entertainment company Funlab, following a competitive pitch process. As part of their remit, Mango will provide media relations support for new venue launches, seasonal projects and manage their influencer and ambassador programme.

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