Shandwick Consultants this week attempted to neutralise the damage
caused by the departure of four board directors, led by chief executive
Chris Matthews, to form PR firm: the Hogarth Partnership.
The agency brought forward plans to create three distinct business
Colin Byrne becomes managing director of Shandwick Public Affairs, John
Reynolds of Shandwick Financial and James Poole of Shandwick
It has also promoted four to the board: Rollo Head, Roya Nasser, Andrew
Best and Andrew Millington.
Shandwick UK managing director Colin Trusler, who moves back to
Consultants while it searches for a new chief executive, also tried to
quash speculation that the breakaway could take many of the agency’s key
accounts including the pounds 400,000 3i account.
He stressed that all the departing executives had signed standard
restrictive covenants preventing them from working for Shandwick clients
or employing staff for 12 months, without its agreement.
But industry observers point out that many such agreements have
variations built into them allowing for business to be transferred if
the client wishes. Both sides indicated a possible compromise in which
Hogarth - which opens on 1 April - would work alongside Shandwick on
Hogarth’s founders include Shandwick directors Nick Denton, John Olsen
and Rachel Hirst, plus associate director James Longfield. Each will
have 15 per cent of the equity. Matthews - who has a 25 per cent stake -
said the firm would be more ’collegiate’ in style than Consultants.