Bailey walks from FD to rejoin Square Mile as MD

Weber Shandwick has poached Ian Bailey, Financial Dynamics MD and head of technology in the US, in a bid to revitalise its corporate and financial practice.

Bailey, who resigned from FD's New York office last week, is set to rejoin  Weber Shandwick Square Mile as MD after an eight-year
absence. He is to arrive before Christmas and has already returned to the UK.

WS chief executive Colin Byrne said Bailey's appointment would take Square Mile 'to the next level' within the WS group.

'We have been looking for someone to partner Square Mile chair and co-founder Susan Ellis and develop the business as a standalone financial PR division,' Byrne said. 'But we also wanted someone who was plugged into the WS international network, and we looked for
a good international all-rounder.'

Bailey, who has 15 years' financial comms experience and headed FD's US technology and telecoms IR practice, worked at Square Mile as an account director from 1995 to 1997. He left before WS inherited the business through its merger with BSMG Worldwide in October 2001.

His clients at FD, where he started his career as an account manager in London, included Network Engines and VimpelCom.

Byrne said it was 'too early to say' whether WS would pick up any clients as a result of Bailey's move.

Bailey will plug the gap left by Mike Kirk, who quit as WS Square Mile MD in August for personal reasons (PRWeek, 5 August).

He could also be a revitalising force for the 50-strong financial comms practice, which has been finding its feet since the departure of co-founder Tim Jackaman at the end of his earn-out period last year (PRWeek, 16 April 2004).

Bailey moved to the US in 1997, joining Fleishman-Hillard in Chicago  and then working as director for IR agency Financial Relations Board (now FRB Weber Shandwick) in San Francisco between 1999 and 2000.

He subsequently joined FitzGerald Communications, setting up its San Francisco financial comms and IR practice and its New York
crisis communications arm.

Bailey later rejoined FD following its 2003 MBO from Cordiant.

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