Corporate and financial communications, with international M&A capabilities
When Nick Miles and Hugh Morrison were dismissed from their positions at Cordiant at the beginning of 2002, there wasn’t much doubt that they would soon surface again. But even admirers of the dynamic duo have to be impressed with the speed with which they have established their new consultancy, M Communications, as a leader in its field. Less than two years old, the firm reported fee income for 2004 of more than £4.2 million, enough to earn the firm a spot among the top 20 in the PR Week league table, and the firm’s principals have worked on more than €40 billion worth of transactions since M was launched, ranking ninth in Europe by value of deals worked according to mergermarket, and first in France—an area of focus since launch—in value of deals worked.
Obviously, the duo responsible for much of the growth of Financial Dynamics, a dominant player in the financial communications realm, still had plenty of contacts in the City, and they were both itching to get back to client work after spending too long in administrative and management positions imposed on them by FD’s former owners.
In the past 12 months, Miles and Morrison have advised Charterhouse on its €1 billion acquisition of PHS; Apax on its £489 million bid for HIT Entertainment; LVMH on its £300 million acquisition of Glenmorangie; Carlsberg on its €2.37 billion acquisition of Orkla’s 40 percent stake in Carlsberg Breweries; Credit Agricole’s €19 billion merger with Credit Lyonnais (which translated into ongoing retainer work for the merged company); and aluminium company Pechiney, following a hostile approach by U.S. rival Alcan. But their expertise in transactions of this kind notwithstanding, Miles and Morrison are looking to create more than just another M&A specialist. They are building out their pan-European communications capabilities to include media and investor relations, crisis management, public affairs, and CEO counsel on issues such as corporate governance and social responsibility.
With more than 20 consultants on board, Miles and Morrison are confident they can handle the biggest deals in the marketplace, but say the next phase of their development will depend on their ability to attract senior talent to round out a team that already includes a wealth of talent. New additions over the past year included Lisa Gordon, former group director of corporate affairs at Chrysalis and an expert in IPOs, particularly in the media sector; and Louise Hatch, a founding partner of Penrose, who will expand the firm’s financial services expertise.