LONDON—Just a month after the closure of a merger between Lord Peter Chadlington’s Huntsworth Group and British public relations holding company Incepta, the firms announced that Citigate Public Affairs, an Incepta-owned operation with offices in London and Brussels, will become part of Huntsworth’s Global Consulting Group unit.
The new holding company has begun a comprehensive strategic review led by Chadlington and chief executive Richard Nichols to determine how best to organize the combined group’s public affairs offering in the best interests of clients, our staff and the company. The combination of Citigate Public Affairs and GCG is the first of what is expected to be a series of consolidations designed to strengthen the combined holdings.
According to Chadlington, the move “will combine CPA’s pre-eminent position in the U.K. market and strong Brussels offering with GCG’s strong U.S. public affairs practice and its existing European operations. This will create the integrated international public affairs offering that each company has seen as crucial to meeting developing client demands.”
The combined operation will bring together CPA’s three offices (London, Edinburgh, and Brussels) with 30 employees led by Warwick Smith and GCG’s existing network of eight offices (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, London, Madrid, Brussels and Tel Aviv) and 110 employees, including approximately 45 public affairs professionals led by former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.
“The development of GCG’s international public affairs offering is central to our strategy for growth,” says GCG chief executive Richard Wolff. “The experience, expertise and client base that CPA brings to GCG is second to none and I look forward to it providing an immediate and significant benefit both to our clients and the growth of our business.”
Adds Smith, “More and more frequently, clients are asking us to provide a truly international or global public affairs service. Joining GCG is a major part of our being able to do that more effortlessly and more effectively than our competitors. But this merger doesn’t just allow us to enhance our service to clients geographically – important though that is. It brings together a large group of high quality like-minded public affairs professionals focused on client service.”
The first phase of the restructuring has been to merge the EU consulting capabilities of the two firms, and to appoint Stephanie Lvovich, currently managing director at GCG, as managing director of the combined EU public affairs offer. Initially, 10 consultants will be working for clients directly on EU issues, with the expectation that the firm will be making more appointments in the near future.