Speyside Corporate Relations will open its first office in February 2010 in Sao Paolo. Former Mmd director Ian Herbison will run the business from Sao Paolo as chief executive, while McLeish takes on a role as chairman.
McLeish said the agency will adopt the same strategy as Mmd, which he sold to Huntsworth in 2006. Mmd has since been integrated under the ‘new' Grayling brand.
"Organic growth can be painful but is the only way to ensure we build a team truly capable of firt-class delivery across the region,' said McLeish. ‘The focus in year one will be Brazil but we plan rapid expansion into other key regional markets. We see a real gap in the ‘high end' of the market and hope that, as with Mmd in Eastern Europe, we can establish ourselves as a regional partner for many specialist consultancies and global networks.'
Speyside will also undertake a US and European roadshow to explain its proposition to former partners and clients, added Herbison.