SAO PAULO—Alistair McLeish, best known as the founder and former chairman of Eastern European public relations and public affairs consultancy Mmd has launched Speyside Corporate Relations, a corporate, financial and government relations consultancy focusing on Latin America.
McLeish and former Mmd director Ian Herbison will open the first office in February 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will adopt the same strategy that helped Mmd grow organically to become the leading corporate and public affairs consultancy in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, with offices in 19 countries, prior to its sale two years ago to the Huntsworth Group.
McLeish says Speyside’s growth will be largely organic, creatoing a team of international and local consultants to support foreign investors and indigenous blue-chip companies. The business will operate three practice areas—corporate communications, investor relations and government relations—with a focus on supporting greenfield investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and issues management.
“Organic growth can be painful but is the only way to ensure we build a team truly capable of first-class delivery across the region,” says McLeish. “The focus in year one will be Brazil but we plan rapid expansion into other key regional markets. We see a real gap in the ‘high end’ of the market and hope that, as with Mmd in Eastern Europe, we can establish ourselves as a regional partner for many specialist consultancies and global networks.”
Herbison will run the business from Sao Paulo as chief executive.