College Hill loses last of the Gainsborough team mate

College Hill’s acquisition strategy has suffered a setback with the departure of Duncan Murray, part of the two-man Gainsborough Communications team it bought this year.

College Hill: Murray (left) and Cornelius have departed

College Hill acquired Gainsborough – along with its client list and two of its three founders – six months ago (PRWeek, 2 February). But it will soon be left with neither of the founders as it emerged this week that Murray is to follow Gainsborough co-founder Andy Cornelius out of the College Hill door in January.

‘It was a good idea that didn’t work out,’ said College Hill founder Alex Sandberg.

Murray is considering his options. He is understood to have left for the same reason as Cornelius, who previously told PRWeek that the acquisition didn’t go to plan (PRWeek, 24 August).

Cornelius resigned in July and will leave next month after seeing out his notice.

College Hill has rapidly expanded through a raft of acquisitions since Richard Nichols joined the agency as CEO in May 2006 (PRWeek, 19 May 2006).

Former Incepta CEO Nichols was brought in to spearhead the agency’s acquisition strategy. Since his arrival the agency has added more than 50 staff.

College Hill has bought a number of agency outfits. It acquired Northbank Communications last week (PRWeek, 12 October).  Northbank’s 32 staff will move into College Hill’s offices next year.

In May this year, after the acquisition of Gainsborough, College Hill swooped for Stonehenge PR.

The agency effectively bought the expertise of the agency heads in a deal that saw founders Geoff Potter and Tim Halford become senior consultants and the Stonehenge name disappear (PRWeek, 4 May).

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