Arun Sudhaman 03 Jul 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
ABU DHABI--Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company has reshaped its lucrative public relations agency roster following a competitive review process.
Mubadala wields one of the Middle East’s largest public relations budgets across an overall portfolio of assets worth $48bn, and is seen as a critically important component in the Abu Dhabi government’s economic strategy of diversifying away from oil.
In addition to stakes in foreign companies such as GE, AMD and the Carlyle Group, Mubadala also owns major domestic investments in energy, aerospace, healthcare, infrastructure and real estate.
The Holmes Report understands that Edelman, already a key Mubadala agency before the review, has increased its business as a result of the tender, which began earlier this year. The firm previously handled the core corporate brief but has now added PR duties for specific Mubadala business units, including new healthcare investments such as the Abu Dhabi Cleveland Clinic.
In addition, it is understood that Hill + Knowlton has retained its place on the roster, having handled work for Mubadala’s Masdar energy unit in recent years. H+K will now oversee Mubadala's aerospace business, while it is thought that Apco is now working with Masdar.
Mubadala executive director of group communications Brian Lott declined to comment on specific appointments, but said that Edelman “continues to show enormous value to Mubadala in most areas of our communications work.”
“I was also very impressed with the other agencies that presented,” said Lott. “Some of them will be part of our ongoing scope of work on smaller projects going forward.”
The review attracted interest from several international PR firms that are active in the Middle East, along with local agencies.
“The agency review was done as part of Mubadala’s best-practice operations with our agency partners,” added Lott. “The purpose of the review was to ensure that Mubadala group communications continues to receive the most value from these partnerships and that our partners understand clearly the strategic roadmap of our business.”
Lott took on the top comms role at the Mubadala earlier this year, following the departure of Kate Triggs. Previously, he spent two years at Mubadala-owned Advanced Technology Investment Company.
Mubadala is led by CEO Khaldoon al-Mubarak, who also heads Abu Dhabi’s Executive Affairs Authority, where he is supported by key PR man Simon Pearce. Khaldoon is also chairman of Manchester City football club.