Guinness Mahon, the Japanese-owned merchant bank, is testing the market
for financial PR agencies, which could result in a full scale review
early next year.
The bank - bought by Bank of Yokohama in 1989 for pounds 200 million -
uses Grandfield for financial PR and corporate relations. The account,
held by Grandfield for four years, is believed to be agency’s largest
and is worth around pounds 150,000 in annual fees.
Patricia Evans, head of group marketing and communications, is known to
have visited at least one consultancy to assess the contribution they
could make to the bank’s PR activities. Industry sources indicate that
other agencies have been contacted for initial talks.
Evans denied that she was reviewing Grandfields’s account, although she
conceded that a review could, conceivably, take place during the middle
of next year after the end of the bank’s financial year in April.
‘We are working with Grandfield and that relationship is ongoing,’ said
Evans. ‘We have always been with them and we are very happy with their
work. I visit agencies with clients all the time and they often ask what
the chances are of getting the Guinness Mahon account, but I am not
Guinness Mahon employs around 750 people worldwide. Lately it has
expanded into private banking, offshore trusts and film finance.