Biggar starts Middle East agency with Edelman deal

Allan Biggar, the former UK chief figurehead at Burson-Marsteller, has re-emerged to strike a deal with Edelman and launch an agency servicing businesses in the Middle East.

Biggar has created International Insights to target Middle-Eastern corporate clients keen to expand internationally, and western corporates that want to explore commercial opportunities in the region. Biggar said it would 'focus on the Gulf and destination branding'.

He has agreed a three-way client-sharing deal with the region's biggest PR firm, ASDA'A, and its partner Edelman, through the latter's European president David Brain.

'Despite the troubles in the region there's a rapidly growing middle class creating huge consumer demand,' Biggar said. 'There is aggressive inward investment and reform programmes in many countries and a huge demand for tourism.'

Brain said the deal with Biggar would provide Edelman with a 'PR heavyweight' to accelerate business in the Middle East.

International Insights' founding clients include the global satellite provider Inmarsat, for which it is creating a crisis management plan, and SmartCells, a London-based stem cell blood storage bank with offices across EMEA.

It is also handling government relations and corporate reputation for the BADR Group, a Jordan-based conglomerate with interests in energy, property, timber extraction, venture capital and finance. Biggar said he would be splitting his time evenly between the Middle East and the UK.

Biggar joined B-M in 1994 to become MD of its Middle East region, working for The Egyptian Tourist Board, the government of Kuwait and Coca-Cola.

He then headed B-M's Brussels office and its UK operation as CEO.

Most recently he was global chairman of B-M corporate and financial.

He quit this year to launch Cadogan, a headhunter specialising in the university and biotech sectors, of which he continues to be chairman.

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