NEWS: Verhille leaves ES for a taste of Entente cordiale

Peter Verhille, managing director of Grayling-owned lobbying firm European Strategy in Brussels, has been poached by rival Entente International Communication.

Peter Verhille, managing director of Grayling-owned lobbying firm

European Strategy in Brussels, has been poached by rival Entente

International Communication.



Verhille, MD of ES since 1990, joins Entente as managing director of its

Brussels head office in March.



The move amounts to a straight swap between the two companies following

the appointment of Verhille’s predecessor at Entente, Daniel Verpeaux,

as a director of Grayling’s Paris subsidiary Corolle Grayling (PR Week,

8 December 1995).



In addition Verpeaux will now assume managerial responsibility for

European Strategy itself as one of two directors of the firm - the other

being Maurits Bruggink.



‘It gives us an opportunity to try to strengthen the Paris-Brussels

link,’ said Grayling chief executive Michael Burrell. He confirmed joint

venture negotiations with an independent Brussels lobbying firm -

believed to be EPPA - ‘are still continuing’ but both he and Verhille

denied this was connected with the latter’s decision to leave.



‘I was always a strong defender of this move,’ said Verhille, ‘if the

deal went ahead, it would have been a good thing for both parties’.



Formed in 1991 Entente is owned by four shareholders; The Communication

Group in the UK, Francom in France, Italian firm Barabino and Partners

and Dutch outfit Van Luyken, with franchisees in eight other European

coun-tries. Peter Hamilton, managing director of TCG, said of Verhille’s

appointment that Entente had set out to look for someone with specialist

public affairs experience. ‘Originally the Brussels operation was

primarily pan-European co-ordination. Peter’s arrival heralds our

intention to build public affairs and make it a more dynamic business

in its own right,’ he told PR Week.



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