Stephenson, an associate director in the agency's corporate practice, left CDR last week after seven years. He joins Smithfield on 1 August as director and head of financial services, reporting jointly to CEO John Antcliffe and MD John Kiely.
He is charged with developing a dedicated financial services team. 'We hope by the end of the year he will have three or four people working for him,' said Antcliffe.
Stephenson will be assigned to the Aegon and Old Mutual accounts, assisting Antcliffe and Kiely, who have handled financial services business until now.
'We are keen to grow our client list in that sector and this appointment reinforces our commitment to this,' Antcliffe added.
Stephenson, whose clients at CDR include Halifax General Insurance, Prudential and the British Insurance Brokers' Association, said: 'I have a lot of experience in B2B and B2C campaigns. That is something I am looking to continue.
'Seven years is a long time to be in one place,' he added. 'I felt it was time to move on.'
CDR corporate MD Jonathan Flint said a new associate director will join in two weeks.