LONDON--Former Fleishman-Hillard president Kevin Bell has joined Maitland Political as executive chairman. 

Bell departed his role as president of Fleishman-Hillard UK, Africa and the Middle East one year ago, after a decade with the Omnicom Group firm.

His arrival at Maitland Political follows the launch of the financial agency's public affairs arm last year. "Kevin brings substantial extra bench strength," Maitland CEO Neil Bennett told the Holmes Report. "He is one of the the three or four top public affairs professionals in the industry."

Maitland Political was founded by Ed Owen and Pete Bowyer, and has handled successful public affairs campaigns for Halfords and First Quantum since its launch. 

"Maitland's track record, its client list and its model of offering critical advice and execution to leading businesses across the whole spectrum of communications really attracted me to the firm," said Bell in a statement.

Bell began his career with Michael Forsyth Associates in 1980. He was a founding director of Westminster Strategy in 1987 before being asked by Lord Tim Bell to establish Lowe Bell Political (later Bell Pottinger Public Affairs) in 1994.

Bell joined GPC International UK in 2000, which was subsequently merged with Fleishman-Hillard. In February 2004 he was appointed regional director of Fleishman-Hillard UK and South Africa, and later, the Middle East.