Cordiant Axes Two Top PR Execs
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Cordiant Axes Two Top PR Execs

Nick Miles and Hugh Morrison, the two senior executives at Cordiant’s new Business Communications International group, have been ousted from the firm.

Paul Holmes

LONDON—Nick Miles and Hugh Morrison, the two senior executives at Cordiant’s new Business Communications International group, have been ousted from the firm in a move that has created quite a stir in the U.K. public relations and financial communities.
 
Miles and Morrison were the star players at Financial Dynamics, one of the U.K.’s leading investor relations and crisis communications firms and a major player in the mergers and acquisitions PR market. They were appointed as chairman and managing director at BCI—a unit that includes Morgen-Walke Associates in New York and International Business Information in Japan—last year.
 
In a terse statement, Cordiant said Financial Dynamics had exercised its contractual right to give Miles and Morrison six months’ notice, and added that under the terms of their notice they would remain Financial Dynamics employees. Miles and Morrison are bound by a confidentiality agreement, and could not comment on the circumstances of their departure.
 
Financial Dynamics will continue to be led by chief executive Charles Watson, who told reporters Cordiant remained committed to the public relations business. “We have been told by [Cordiant chief executive] Michael Bungey that there will be further news to come about BCI’s strategy going forward. He is still committed to the concept of having PR as a separate division and Cordiant’s corporate objective of making half of its revenue from non-advertising income sources.”
 
The firings were viewed as a sign of turmoil at Cordiant, which recently announced plans to cut 1,100 employees or around 10 percent of its workforce. The Financial Dynamics unit is one of the holding company’s most profitable, and many of its key client relationships were based on personal connections built by Miles and Morrison.
 
Said The Guardian newspaper, “Financial Dynamics will survive and no doubt prosper…. But in the case of these sudden departures, the focus should be on Cordiant…. Messrs Miles and Morrison were charged with running its biggest division. They were both big fee earners. Their enforced departure spells a serious rift within the company. Off the record, we’d like to know more about what has gone on. On the record, if you own shares in Cordiant, sell them.”
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