NEW YORK—Finsbury, the U.K.-based WPP-owned corporate and financial communications specialist, is opening a New York office and has hired Andrew Merrill, most recently head of the financial practice at Edelman, to launch the firm in the U.S. market.
Founded in 1994 by former Financial Times journalist Roland Rudd and Rupert Younger, formerly of The Economist and Brunswick, Finsbury has emerged in recent years as the primary challenger to the U.K.’s traditional mergers and acquisitions leaders Brunswick and Financial Dynamics. The firm ranked second in terms of value and third in terms of volume in the European M&A league table published by mergermarket for the first quarter of 2006, and
Last year, it worked on several high-profile deals including Fortune Brands’ joint acquisition of Allied Domecq with Pernod Ricard; Bertelsmann, for the merger of the BMG and Sony music divisions; the €8.6 billion listing of Belgacom on the Euronext exchange; and two international acquisitions for Vodafone.
The firm operates its own European public affairs network, Finsbury International Policy & Regulatory Advisors (FIPRA), which includes offices in 15 European capitals, but unlike rivals FD and Brunswick had not previously ventured into the U.S. market.
Naming Merrill as U.S. chief executive is intended to change that, and to make Finsbury a player in the increasingly significant cross-border M&A realm.
Merrill joined Edelman at the end of 2003 as executive vice president and global managing director of the firm’s financial practice. He joined from The Abernathy MacGregor Group, where he was a managing director, counseling clients on financial public relations, investor communications and corporate governance issues as well as a variety of other special situations, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, bankruptcies and restructurings and corporate crises.
Prior to joining AMG, Merrill was a vice president at Sard Verbinnen & Co.