NEW YORK: Stagwell has hired Nick Fox to lead its recently launched risk and reputation unit.
Fox will serve as head of the practice and senior managing director for Sloane & Company, a Stagwell company, in the combined role at both companies.
Effective this month, Fox will split his time between New York City and Washington, DC. He reports to Stagwell president Jay Leveton and Sloane & Company CEOs Darren Brandt and Whit Clay.
The risk and reputation unit was created in September 2022 as a business practice to deliver bipartisan, multidisciplinary political and communications expertise to C-suite leaders navigating the complex landscape of emerging policy, political and social issues, the holding company said in a statement.
As head of the unit, Fox will advise clients on how to manage current business issues facing companies, from increasing geopolitical tensions to financial system pressure to political and social polarization, according to the firm.
The practice aligns political and financial strategists from Democratic strategic communications firm SKDK, Republican digital-first political and communication agency Targeted Victory, financial communications firm Sloane & Company and Stagwell's corporate experts, according to a Stagwell statement.
The unit comprises business leaders, including Stagwell chairman and CEO Mark Penn, vice chair Ray Day, chief brand officer of North America Alexis Williams, Sloane co-CEOs Clay and Brandt, SKDK CEO Doug Thornell, SKDK partner Jill Zuckman and Targeted Victory CEO Zac Moffatt. Each leader will continue to run their respective firm, but may be tapped for their expertise when serving clients through the unit.
“The reputation practice is a much broader church,” Fox said. “We're looking across many different sectors to identify companies and leaders that will be particularly either at risk or looking out into the challenges that they face. What we're trying to do is bring a more holistic approach to assessing what a modern day international corporation is going to face.”
Fox previously served as chief communications officer of Virgin Group. He stepped down from the position in 2020 amid a leadership restructure and continued with Virgin in an advisory role until the end of 2021, managing the rollout of Virgin Orbit’s public offering in 2021.
Over the past year, Fox continued to provide strategic communications counsel for a range of clientele, building up his own consultancy with a primary focus on brand building, risk management and corporate reputation, Fox said.
“It's a particularly exciting time to be in this role, because there are so many issues popping up in terms of crisis issue management and political risk,” he said. “I have access to many more experts and expertise than I ever had before, so if I can put together a compelling offer, it should be an interesting ride, and hopefully a learning one for me too.”
Stagwell’s PR firms include Allison+Partners, Hunter and KWT Global.
The holding company pursued an acquisition spree in 2022, acquiring the U.K.’s second-biggest independent media agency Goodstuff Communicatons, AI-powered software platform Apollo Program, insights platform Maru and multicultural marketing agency Dyversity Communications.