Illingworth cuts FD ties with Smith & Nephew

FTSE 100 company Smith & Nephew has brought in Brunswick to replace FD, following a change of chief executive.

The British medical devices firm has used FD for more than four years. But the exit of Christopher O’Donnell last month, and the promotion of chief operating officer David Illingworth, have triggered a financial review.

Sources close to the company suggested that Illingworth has a previous relationship with Brunswick.

Smith & Nephew said the review was part of a ‘general process’ and, although it had been happy with FD, it chose to change agencies.

The firm operates in three separate segments: wound management, endoscopy and orthopaedics segments, and has been financially active in recent months.

In May, it confirmed the purchase of BlueSky Medical Group Smith for an initial payment of around £7m, and is expected to make further payments of up to £48m.

The privately-held company added BlueSky to its Advanced Wound Management (AWM) division.

Smith & Nephew is relocating BlueSky to its US headquarters in Largo, Florida, from California, as it integrates the business.

Last month, the firm was locked in talks with orthopaedics rival Biomet, discussing a possible merger, although Biomet has since struck a deal with a group of private-equity buyers. Smith & Nephew was conceived in 1856 when Thomas James Smith of Hull, England went into business as a dispensing chemist.

In 1896, he was joined by his nephew, Horatio Nelson Smith, and the business became known as T J Smith and Nephew.

• Separately, Brunswick has hired former Telegraph group editorial director Kim Fletcher to bolster its Trinity training operation.

Fletcher joins as Trinity MD, advising and giving media training to senior business executives. Fletcher became Telegraph editorial director in 2003, having rejoined the company in 2000. He is also a former Independent on Sunday editor.

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