Derek Laud, the flamboyant managing director of Ludgate Communications’
lobbying arm Ludgate Laud, is to leave the group and is taking half the
business with him.
Ludgate Laud, which has 10 staff and a client base of around 20, is to
split in two within the next few weeks.
The part of the business which remains with Ludgate will be renamed
Ludgate Public Affairs and will return to its parent company’s EC1
offices - which Ludgate Laud vacated this April. It will operate as a
stand-alone business under Ludgate Communications divisional director
Stephen Lock. Derek Laud and his team are likely to remain at Ludgate
Laud’s Westminster base.
David Simpson, Ludgate Communications chief executive, confirmed that
Laud, who has been with Ludgate Laud since it was established in 1992,
would be buying his half of the business, which is wholly-owned by
Ludgate and is thought to generate fee income of around pounds 500,000 a
year. Simpson said clients would be advised as to which firm they should
join according to where their previous account directors were going.
He said both Laud - who is standing as Conservative candidate in Bernie
Grant’s Tottenham constituency - and Ludgate Communications would
benefit from the ‘amazingly amicable’ deal.
‘Derek has been keen on going off on his own for some time and he will
get his own operation and his own people,’ said Simpson. ‘Derek and
ourselves have differing ideas on the future direction of public affairs
and this will allow us to have a more traditional Ludgate company as
opposed to the business managed by Derek.’
News of the split comes a month after Quentin Browell, deputy managing
director of Ludgate Laud, announced that he was moving to Burson-
Marsteller Public Affairs.