Giles Sanderson had been with the firm for more than 15 years and was most recently a senior MD in its financial communications business in the UK, but will leave the firm at the end of this month.
The departure is believed to be influenced by the completion in September last year of key aspect of its earn-out period linked to FTI Consulting's purchase of FD in 2006. At the time, it was suggested that FD's senior team would collectively stand to gain close to £50m in cash incentives and share options. The earn-out period officially ends in March this year.
Recent industry speculation has suggested some senior figures at FD may be considering their next move after their share options had matured, but other than the autumn departure of David Yates, previously MD of its life sciences team, the agency's leadership has remained in place.
FD has actually expanded its senior team since then, with its December capture of heavyweight City journalist John Waples, formerly business editor of The Sunday Times, as an MD.
Sanderson is to join management consulting venture, NewMarket Partners, in the spring. In an email to clients and staff seen by PRWeek, group chief executive Charles Watson said: 'It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Giles Sanderson will be moving on from FD. Giles, throughout his time with FD, has played a major role in the development and growth of the firm in London and further afield.'
Sanderson initially established and ran the firm's technology and telecoms practice and latterly co-led its restructuring & recapitalisation comms practice. Alongside fellow senior MD Jonathan Hawker, Sanderson oversaw the dedicated European restructuring team that was billed as Europe's first at its January 2009 launch.
In his email, Watson added Sanderson 'has agreed to be on hand to ensure a smooth transition of any outstanding client or other matters' and said: 'I know he will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends within the business.'
Sanderson has also taken a key role in business development for the agency in recent times and was recently advising Ford in relation to its strategic review of Volvo.