NEWS: Defence expert joins MAI

Lobby firm Market Access International has hired Bill Davies, formerly strategic planning director of defence company Thomson-CSF, as a senior consultant.

Lobby firm Market Access International has hired Bill Davies, formerly

strategic planning director of defence company Thomson-CSF, as a senior

consultant.



His arrival is a much-needed boost for MAI’s defence research unit which

has recently lost two of its longest serving directors with the

departure of Mark Francois (PR Week, 12 January) and Joe Baynes.



Former unit head Francois, Brent East’s Tory parliamentary candidate,

left the agency in December and has been working as an independent

consultant. It is understood that he has since taken the lucrative Texas

Instruments account, which he ran at Market Access and which is

estimated to be worth pounds 10,000 per month



Francois’ deputy Baynes left last month after seven years with MAI, the

last three of which he worked almost exclusively on the Lockheed account

- another big fee earner which remains at MAI



Mike Craven, managing director of Market Access, dismissed suggestions

that the departures were the result of any deep-seated problems at the

agency.



‘We’ve a head count of 40 now so the defection of a couple of people

doesn’t have great significance,’ he said, adding that morale was high.



The arrival of Davies, who worked at the Ministry of Defence and Foreign

Office for 24 years before joining Thomson in 1988, brings the number

of people in the defence research unit to four, including unit head

John Gardner.



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