Top Ludgate staff quit to start up own agency

Ludgate Communications has lost four of its senior staff in a bid led by Gay Collins, director of the agency’s corporate division, to set up an independent consultancy. The departures mean that 12 board directors have left Ludgate in under two years.

Ludgate Communications has lost four of its senior staff in a bid

led by Gay Collins, director of the agency’s corporate division, to set

up an independent consultancy. The departures mean that 12 board

directors have left Ludgate in under two years.



Collins and fellow corporate directors Andrew Nicolls and Shona

Prendergast and financial services director Louise Hatch resigned last

Friday.



The four arrived at work on Monday morning and were immediately asked to

leave the office by chief executive Robin Hepburn. They have been placed

on gardening leave with six month notice periods. Their contracts

include undertakings not to work with Ludgate clients for 12 months.



Despite receiving substantial bonuses from McCann Erickson’s buy-out of

Ludgate last year the four directors were not subject to an earnout.



They will self-finance their new venture without recourse to venture

capital.



Collins said: ’The driving factor for us leaving was to establish our

own business but we wouldn’t have done this if we were absolutely happy

with our existing roles.’



Hepburn played down the departures: ’I’m very sad that they should

choose to do this now when there are big opportunities at Ludgate. We

will talk to clients, avoid a knee-jerk reaction and the dramatic

over-promotion of people.’



The departure leaves Ludgate with gaps to fill. Collins, Nicolls, and

Prendergast were the last three remaining directors of Ludgate’s

corporate division following the departures of Nick Boakes last year and

Mick Smith in 1996. Hatch was the most significant player in its

financial services department.



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