The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange
(LIFFE) has made its external affairs director redundant and is to end
its public affairs contract with Hill and Knowlton, because of pressure
to cut costs in the face of competition from European rivals.
Richard Pratt, who had been director of external affairs since April
1995, left the exchange over two weeks ago as part of the 76
redundancies made there since the beginning of the year. He is unlikely
to be replaced and is considering his future career plans.
Pratt’s remit covered media relations, public affairs, lobbying and
regulatory issues. These responsibilties have been assumed by existing
staff members in a restructure which has amalgamated public affairs with
product marketing and brought regulatory issues and lobbying into the
Media relations are handled by existing head of press relations,
Caroline Denton, who now reports directly to LIFFE chief executive
Hodson said: ’We are underlining the importance in which we hold the PR
function, because it reports directly to the chief executive whereas
previously Caroline reported through an intermediary.’
From August, LIFFE will employ just one retained PR agency, Shandwick
which will review the exchange’s PR agency requirements. Hill and
Knowlton is expected to provide occasional public affairs support on an
ad hoc basis from then.