Blackstone hires Cicero for political intelligence

One of the world’s biggest private equity companies has enlisted its first UK public affairs agency.

Anderson: helping with political strategy
Anderson: helping with political strategy

Blackstone Group has ­tur­ned to Cicero Consulting as the political spotlight continues to shine on private ­equity.

Cicero director Iain And­er­son said that the agency was providing ‘strategic intelligence and guidance’. He added: ‘We’re helping them to get a feel for the lie of the political land.’

Anderson reports to ­Soph­ia Harrison, European head of corporate comms at Black­stone. She said: ‘Private equi­ty has been catapulted into the limelight. Because of that there has been a lot of political interest. So to stay on top of things, we’ve brought in Cicero.’

Agencies are lining up to land lucrative accounts with private equity firms. Cicero is said to have had the edge as Anderson worked with Harrison at Ludgate Commu­nica­tions. She said she had ‘enormous respect’ for him.

Last month, Blackstone bought Madame Tussauds wax museum for £1bn from Dubai Capital International. The New York-based firm also manages holdings in Universal Studios Florida.

Blackstone’s hire of ­Cicero is a further sign that private equity firms are ­responding to accusations of greed and asset stripping.

The private equity com­pany Permira uses Bell Pottinger Public Affairs and is forming its first in-house comms team (PRWeek, 30 March).

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