NEWS: Northern Rock hires Ludgate for plc move

Northern Rock Building Society has called in Ludgate to advise on communications with members, the City and the financial press in the run up to its conversion to a plc next year.

Northern Rock Building Society has called in Ludgate to advise on

communications with members, the City and the financial press in the run

up to its conversion to a plc next year.



Officially hired this week, Ludgate will support Northern Rock’s in-

house press and PR team of three by promoting the conversion to

potential investors, banking sector analysts, society employees and

members and business journalists.



Ludgate chief executive David Simpson, who is leading the account,

explained that the agency would position Northern Rock as a promising

investment and highlight its intention to concentrate on its core

business of mortgage lending and investments after the conversion.



He added that the agency -which pitched competitively for the business -

has also been briefed to help market Northern Rock’s products. A total of ten Ludgate consultants will work on the account. ‘It’s an excellent

account for us,’ said Simpson. ‘They are a top class outfit but not as

well known in the City as they should be.’



Newcastle-based Northern Rock is one of four building societies which

plans to become a bank next year. Its 1.3 million members will vote on

the conversion next April and dealing in shares is expected to commence

the following autumn.



* Former Shandwick director Robin Hepburn has joined Ludgate as a

director of its plc division. Reporting to chief executive David

Simpson, he will divide his time between managing the business and

client work.



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