Smelt has joined the recently floated firm with a brief to boost its profile with the investment community, reporting to Verdanta finance director Peter Sydney-Smith.
Verdanta used Financial Dynamics to handle its stock market debut in December but last month hired Finsbury for its financial comms (PRWeek, 20 April). FD declined to pitch.
Sydney-Smith said: ‘We are new to London and came here to raise capital. We want a strong profile within the market and the industry.’
The company, which has operations in India, Tasmania and Australia, has a current market capitalisation of more than £900m.
Smelt has 16 years’ experience as an analyst, covering the mining sector in South Africa and the UK for the past seven years.
A key task is to reassure investors following a downgrading of Verdanta’s shares by City brokers, citing concerns over tariffs and workers’ challenges to India’s privatisation process. Shares were listed at 390p but stood at around 310p on 6 May.