ABN AMRO, the acquisitive Dutch bank which is the parent company of
Hoare Govett, has hired Financial Dynamics as its first retained UK PR
The agency, which has handled project work for the bank since February,
was appointed last week to an account understood to carry fees in excess
of pounds 100,000.
Jules Prast, ABN’s chief spokesman and head of its six-strong press
office, said he had informal discussions with two other agencies which
he declined to name. He said the bank had been attracted by FD’s
‘international orientation’ - the legacy of its French parent BDDP and a
strong international client list including Euro Disney and AXA.
He described FD’s brief as ‘international corporate press relations
through London’ - which has been the centre of the bank’s international
equity activities since the acquisition of Hoare Govett in 1992.
The bank had been named as a possible bidder for three merchant banks -
Barings, Schroders and Kleinwort Benson - although it never actually
made an offer. However, in August it confirmed it was looking for
further acquisitions in the UK and US investment banking sectors.
‘We have a major operation in the UK, and that interest will become even
more important in the near future,’ said Prast. ‘Apart from that we are
the number six bank in Europe. We would see London as a very important
place for international media.’
Prast said the bank had concentrated on the domestic media and
international publications such as the Financial Times and Wall Street
Journal, which have correspondents in Amsterdam. However, from next
February it will, for the first time, be briefing the press on its half-
yearly results in London as well.
Prast said the bank also wanted to raise the profile of its UK
subsidiaries - ABN AMRO Hoare Govett, ABN AMRO Bank and ABN AMRO
Securities UK - and revealed it is seeking a new London HQ to house all
ABN AMRO was formed in 1990 from the merger of two of the Netherlands’
largest banks. Hitherto, Prast said it had concentrated on ‘controlling
the internal process’ and was only now looking to raise its profile