Steere quits APCO to lead Europe PA drive for MS&L

BRUSSELs: Peter Steere has quit as EMEA director of strategic communications for APCO after just five weeks to spearhead a Europe-wide assault on the public affairs market for Manning, Selvage & Lee.

Steere, a Swedish national, joined APCO's Brussels office on 1 September from JKL - a sister corporate and public affairs agency to MS&L, with offices across Scandinavia - where he spent nine years. But Steere wanted to continue working with one of his major clients in the energy sector, creating a conflict of interest with APCO.

MS&L has now lured him back with a brief to create a PA division as head of public affairs for Europe, reporting to MS&L Europe president Anders Kempe.

JKL is relocating its Stockholm office, which provides EU-related counsel, to Brussels. It will continue to operate under the JKL name but act as a subsidiary to MS&L, which is planning to create public affairs practices in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan. The agency employs consultants with public affairs expertise in its London office within its corporate practice.

Steere said he wanted to establish a standalone London lobbying practice by the end of next year, which would set out first to tap into the agency's existing client base. The Publicis Group-owned agency is considering making an acquisition in London to mark its arrival on the Westminster and Whitehall scene. MS&L has a PA offering in Washington.

JKL's clients are spread across the energy, financial, transport, logistics and telecoms sectors.

MS&L this week moved to shore up its London health practice with the appointment of Peter Carr.

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