LONDON—WPP has invested in Global Counsel, a new London-based advisory firm founded and chaired by Lord Mandelson, who held four different Cabinet positions in the British government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the most recent being First Secretary of State and Business Secretary. The firm will provide corporate leaders with support to grow their businesses beyond their home markets.
The company will focus on establishing a client base among companies with global ambitions in the new emerging markets, as well as forming partnerships in the developed world with businesses who want to move into the new high-growth economies.
The business is Lord Mandelson’s first commercial position since leaving the British government in May. His role has been approved by Whitehall’s Business Appointments Committee and will be registered in the Register of Lords Interests. Lord Mandelson will draw on his experience as a former European Trade Commissioner to support the growth of Global Counsel.
WPP will take a minority equity stake in Global Counsel and has provided seed capital along with additional benefits in kind including office accommodation. A WPP representative will sit on Global Counsel’s board alongside Lord Mandelson and managing director Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, who was director of strategic communications in the Prime Minister’s office in London from 2005 to 2007