Citigate’s Nayyar defects to oversee PA at Edelman

Citigate Public Affairs MD Simon Nayyar has quit after more than 16 years to become vice-chairman of UK public affairs at Edelman.

He resigned just before Christmas and left immediately. His start date at Edelman is unknown but it is understood that Citigate PA staff were unaware of his decision until the new year.

In a further blow to Citigate, Edinburgh office head John Mullin has resigned, ten years after establishing its presence north of the border. London-based director Heather Rogers, who joined only six months ago having been a PPS to three Cabinet ministers, has also resigned. It is not known if their exits are connected to Nayyar's.

It is thought that part of Nayyar's remit will be to expand Edelman's PA offering outside London, which could include the creation of a Scottish branch.

Nayyar said: 'Edelman's sectoral, institutional and jurisdictional understanding and reach is amazing.' He will report to Edelman London deputy CEO and MD of public affairs Susan Eastoe.

His defection has triggered a rejig at Citigate, with chairman and CEO Warwick Smith now supervising London. Smith has spread the MD role between himself and directors Rex Osborn and Jonathan Roberts, alongside James Nason, who has been promoted from associate director to director.

Smith is recruiting for three consultants to join the 14-strong London office. Ross Laird has been promoted in the interim to lead the Edinburgh office.

A dedicated Conservative, Nayyar led Citigate's competition and regulation practice groups and advised the boards of Compass, Lloyds TSB and Group 4 Securicor.

It is not the first time Edelman has raided Citigate, having poached EU head Thierry Lebaux last July. Around the same time Huntsworth merged Citigate Public Affairs with Global Consulting Group after the Incepta takeover, raising the prospect of the CPA name being axed.

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