NEWS: Verpeaux jumps ship for partnership at Grayling

Daniel Verpeaux, the former CEO of agency network Entente International Communication, is to join arch-rival the Grayling Group.

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

year.



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

Strategy.



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.



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