Daniel Verpeaux, the former CEO of agency network Entente International
Communication, is to join arch-rival the Grayling Group.
Agency sources revealed that Verpeaux, who left his job at Entente’s
Brussels headquarters in June, is to join Grayling’s Paris subsidiary
Corolle Grayling as a partner and stakeholder at the beginning of next
His appointment is part of an ambitious plan to double the size of the
Paris office - one of four agencies outside the UK wholly-owned by
Grayling parent Lopex - in the next three years.
Verpeaux will also have a key role in developing the network, which is
now buoyant after a turbulent 18 months for its main PR and lobbying
businesses in both London and Brussels.
Chief executive Michael Burrell is negotiating anew joint venture in
Brussels to boost its lobbying business European Strategy, and is
bullish about the prospects of UK lobbying business Westminster
The French agency - now eight-strong and largely dependent on marketing
communications - has had its own problems. Last year fee income dropped
to pounds 469,060 from pounds 655,000 in 1993, though projected fee
income for 1995 shows a substantial improvement at pounds 650,000.
Verpeaux will work alongside managing director Gerard Lipovitch to
develop a corporate and public affairs practice within the agency. This
is in contrast to Grayling’s failed attempt to launch a stand-alone
public affairs business - France Strategy.
It is understood that the Corolle name will be dropped to bring the
agency into line with the rest of the network, which was ranked number
ten in PR Week’s last European league table of owned networks.
Verpeaux took up the role of chief executive of Entente in 1993. He had
developed the idea as managing director of Francom - one of the four
partners in the network - in 1988, before that he was CEO, of Hill and
Knowlton, Paris for eight years.
His Entente role has since been split between Peter Hamilton, managing
director of UK partner The Communication Group, and now executive
chairman of Entente, and general manager Laurence Fontaine.