City & Corporate: Merlin signs ex-PBP man

Merlin has hired ex-Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial deputy chairman Charles Cook as a director.

He joins the firm on 4 May, having left Pelham Bell Pottinger in early March following the merger of the two financial agencies.

Paul Downes and David Simonson, founding partners of Merlin, said in a statement: 'Cook's considerable experience in the City and of advising major corporations and institutions across a wide range of sectors at the highest level is an ideal fit with our team.'

Cook became part of Chime Communications after its 2005 acquisition of Grandfield, the City PR shop he had led during its buyout from Saatchi & Saatchi. He also spent ten years in the international oil industry, principally with BP, where he was head of corporate media relations.

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