LONDON — FTI Consulting has made two senior hires to strengthen its strategic communications division in Europe, both from finance trade bodies.

Simon Lewis (pictured) joins the business advisory firm in January as vice-chairman for the EMEA region, and global head of financial services. He was previously founder and CEO of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), a trade body that represents the European capital markets industry; he announced in April that he would be stepping down.

Lewis was director of communications and official spokesman for former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and in 1998 became the Queen's first communications secretary. He also held senior corporate affairs roles at Vodafone, Centrica and NatWest.

As a vice chairman in the EMEA region, Lewis will help develop FTI Consulting’s client relationships across the region and support the firm’s strategic initiatives. In his role as global head of financial services, within the strategic communications segment, he will work with senior leaders throughout the firm, with a focus on client service, cross-border business development and talent.

Global strategic communications lead Mark McCall said: “Amid the backdrop of continued commercial uncertainty, Simon’s diverse experience will further strengthen our ability to help financial services clients advance and protect their reputations, engage with stakeholders, manage change and mitigate risk.”

Lewis added, “I am delighted to be joining FTI Consulting at such an exciting stage in its development. At a time of political and economic flux, there is a greater demand than ever from clients for a combination of public and private sector experience.”

At the same time, FTI has appointed Tim Hames as a full-time senior advisor within the strategic communications division. He joins the firm from the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), where he had been director general since 2013.

Hames previously held other roles at the association, including head of policy and director of public affairs. He has also been a special adviser to the Speaker of the House of Commons and an assistant editor at the Times.

In his new role at FTI Consulting, which he takes up in December, Hames will work with colleagues to provide clients with strategic advice and advocacy on issues impacting their businesses, with a focus on the private equity/venture capital industry and its portfolio companies.

UK head of strategic communications John Waples said: “Tim’s areas of expertise will be valuable to our clients at a time when the private equity industry is facing increased political and regulatory scrutiny. I look forward to working with him as we continue to develop our offer to private equity and the broader financial services sector.”