Corporate and financial communications, with international M&A capabilities, and financial services PR
The Maitland Consultancy has advised on some of the largest corporate transactions in Europe over the past 12 months, counselling Banco Santander on its acquisition of Abbey National, Cemex on its acquisition of RMC, Deutsche Borse on its offer for the London Stock Exchange, and SABMiller on its acquisition of Bavaria SA, and the firm consistently ranks among the top five in the mergermarket league table of M&A advisors in the U.K. and in continental Europe. But beyond the M&A arena, the firm has handled high profile IPOs (Alpha Strategic, Bora Communications, Leptis Magna, System C Healthcare); demergers; and high-profile crises, including litigation; and works with an increasing .number of retained clients providing broad corporate and financial communications support.
In all cases, the emphasis is on independent, objective advice. Says Andraea Dawson-Shepherd, corporate communications director at Cadbury Schweppes: “We value the objective advice that Maitland gives us on communication highly. They are very complementary with our in-house team. They know and understand our business well and are not afraid to tell us when they think they could do something differently”
Founder Angus Maitland spent time managing investor relations and public relations groups at Valin Pollen and Burson-Marsteller before launching his own firm in 1994, and his consultancy differs from many of its competitors in that it offers a sophisticated blend of media relations and investor relations counsel, including outreach to securities analysts on the sell-side and institutional investors (who make up 80 percent of the market in the U.K.) on the buy-side. In addition to a robust transactions business, the firm handles ongoing corporate communications, crisis management (including litigation support) and has successfully positioned itself as an authority on governance issues as they influence market perceptions of the company. Finally, Maitland is now home to a subsidiary, Maitland Noonan Russo—a joint venture with U.S.-based Havas agency EuroRSCG Life NRP, which provides IR and corporate communications counsel to biotech companies.
Another point of differentiation is the firm’s international capability. French communications holding company Havas owns a significant minority stake in Maitland, which is a member of AMO, a partnership that includes Havas agencies Abernathy MacGregor in the U.S. and Euro RSCG C&O in France. The use of local partners—including a branded Maitland office in Italy—with their knowledge of local markets and local opinion leaders, has helped Maitland compete successfully against larger firms with their own offices in these markets, and Maitland was ranked fifth in volume of European M&A activity for 2004 by mergermarket and sixth in the U.K.
The firm’s focus is on blue-chip brands such as Cadbury Schweppes, Commerzbank, GlaxoSmithKline, O2, Tesco and Unilever, and a growing number are major financial services companies such as Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Schroders Investment Management and Aberdeen Asset Management. New business successes in the past year have included Boosey & Hawkes, George Wimpey, Banco Santander (for ongoing corporate communications as well as the transaction business), ICAP, Invensys, lastminute.com, and rightmove.co.uk. Revenues were up an impressive 40 percent on the year.
There has been some speculation about how long Maitland intends to remain active, but if he does decide to step aside, the consultancy has a strong leadership team ready to step up. Other senior counsellors include William Clutterbuck, who joined Maitland from Lowe Bell; Philip Gawith, a former FT reporter; and the most recent addition to the senior team Neil Bennett, who was city editor at the Sunday Telegraph and chief executive at Gavin Anderson & Company before being named managing partner at Maitland in May of this year. Duncan Campbell-Smith left during the first quarter of 2005 to become head of communications at Rolls-Royce.