Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, the scandal-hit investment bank, has drafted
in City PR specialist Brunswick to help restore its battered reputation.
The agency was hired this week on a project basis as the crisis over
Morgan Grenfell’s fund management activities intensified.
Last week the company froze pounds 1.4 billion invested in its unit
trusts following the discovery of potential irregularities in
investments made on behalf of three of its European funds.
Peter Young, the fund manager in charge of two of those unit trusts, was
suspended from his pounds 150,000-a-year job pending an investigation by
Imro, the investment management watchdog. A second fund manager, Stewart
Armer, has also been suspended.
Although trading in all three funds has now resumed, Morgan Grenfell is
anxious to smooth over the crisis with disgruntled investors, the City
and the regulatory authorities.
Head of corporate affairs James Murray confirmed that Brunswick had been
hired to advise on communications strategy in the light of the current
crisis. ‘They will help us assess what the reputational implications are
and on the best way forward,’ he said.
He added that Brunswick had been selected because of its strong
reputation in the marketplace.
Brunswick has assembled a strong team to manage the assignment,
including senior partners Alan Parker and David Brewerton. Although
Murray declined to outline Brunswick’s brief, it is likely to include
measures to counteract any embarrassing claims by Peter Young.
‘Young will not go down without a fight and will probably seek to spread
the blame across the organisation and the City generally,’ said one