Holmes Report 19 Feb 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
When Jana Sanchez left Reuters service in 2003, she tried most of the things many former reporters try while making the transition from the new business to the public relations industry. She worked as a freelance, she provided media training services, she did some corporate writing, and along the way she discovered her inner entrepreneur, which led to the launch in 2005 of City Savvy, one of the brightest new corporate and financial communications consultancies in Europe, unique among smaller firms in its ability to deliver genuinely pan-European programming.
Based in Amsterdam (although it had a London office from day one), the firm initially focused on providing Dutch clients with international corporate communications support; its first clients were ING and Shell. In addition to the financial communications expertise implied by the name, City Savvy offered a broad range of corporate communications consulting service, with expertise in internal communications. And it quickly expanded its geographic focus to include pan-regional work and assignments in key markets such as France, Germany and the Nordics as well as Benelux and the U.K. The latest innovation is CSblue, a one-stop consultancy focused on websites, annual reports, CSR reports and marketing materials.
Sanchez has assembled an impressive leadership team. U.K. managing director Matt Gower, former international editor of Investor Relations magazine, leads the firm’s corporate reporting services and the new CSBlue. Board director Ruth Reynolds founded Praxis PR and also worked at Publicis and Band & Brown before joining CitySavvy. And the past 12 months have seen non-executive director Richard Neve (formerly CEO of Trimedia in the Netherlands) take on a full-time role as an executive director, and Omara Nahar, former spokesperson at Fortis, take over as managing director in Amsterdam.
The firm has grown from about a dozen people to 20 over the past 12, with revenue on track to hit £2 million, a very impressive 70 percent growth. CitySavvy’s major clients include Gruppo Campari, Riverside, ARCADIS, ING Commercial Banking, Saxo Bank, Deloitte, Heineken, Empac, Governance for Owners, ABN AMRO Clearing, and CSM, with new assignments from EMCF and Invesco, among others.