Citigate's Smith launches College Hill lobbying arm

City PR firm College Hill has clinched the signing of Citigate Public Affairs chief Warwick Smith to lead its entry into the lobbying arena.

Smith becomes managing partner of new practice College Public Policy from today (Thursday). His brief is to build the firm's PA offering across London, Brussels and Washington.

It will tap into College Hill's existing financial and corporate client base as well as pursue business independently.

Smith said it would look to recruit ‘government relations experts' and ‘good political media handlers'.

The appointment reunites Smith with Richard Nichols, ex-CEO of Citigate's former parent firm Incepta. Nichols, who was appointed as chief executive of College Hill in May, said the practice was also ‘talking to [PA] agencies' with a view to acquisition.

Smith announced he was quitting as Citigate's senior MD in August after 17 years, having spent 16 previously in the civil service. He said this week: ‘I've left Citigate out of the front door with my head held high rather than scuttling out of the back with clients under my arm.'

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