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Revealed: The City’s most influential financial PRs | City A.M.

Thursday 06 February 2014 BUSINESS WITH PERSONALITY


Revealed: The City’s most influential financial PRs
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by David Hellier March 8, 2013, 1:49am

Roland Rudd triumphs in City A.M’s poll of top journalists Roland Rudd, the senior partner and co-founder of RLM Finsbury has been voted the City’s most influential public relations executive for the third time in a row by a poll of city editors and senior business jounalists interviewed by City A.M. Rudd, whose firm advises 22 FTSE 100 companies including Glencore and Sainsbury, has recently stepped in to counsel Starbucks on its UK tax issues and Bumi on its controversial and passionate investor battle against Nat Rothschild, a former client. Rudd scored 41 points out of a possible 75. Rudd beat Alan Parker, Brunswick’s supremo, into second place, the same ranking as when we last did a poll. Parker, arguably the originator of the modern financial public relations business, has been busy growing Brunswick into a global player. But he is still a power player in London where Brunswick enjoys a leading position. Parker gained 28 points. Rudd’s continued pre-eminence in a poll of London journalists no doubt reflects his enormous appetite for networking. His 50th birthday party a couple of years ago at his home in Somerset was attended by a Who’s Who list of business leaders and business journalists from the City, including James Murdoch, Sir Roger Carr, and Lord Rothermere. A recent merger with the New York-based RLM has not significantly diverted Rudd’s London focus. In third place is Andrew Grant, the founder of Tulchan, who is catching up with the first two in terms of points scored. Grant has been in the news lately for losing the Marks & Spencer account after an eightyear period after a leak ahead of the retailer’s recent annual results. That set-back, though, should not overshadow the progress the group has made, with clients now including Lloyds Bank, Standard Life, Rexam and Petrofac. Grant has positioned the firm as a capital market 1/10

Points total 41. An in-house public relations man comes in at fifth place. Rudd. Glencore. a former city editor at the Sunday Telegraph. public affairs route chosen by some of his rivals. Rory Godson. it seems highly plausible that Grant would now be afforded similar weighting. While in-house public relations execs are rarely deemed as influential as the agency equivalents. another former journalist and the founder of Powerscourt. Despite that. If she was still in journalism today. Lady (Patience) Wheatcroft. Notably. a pro-EU lobbying group. poll of financial journalists for the third time in succession.M. said that “whenever [she] knew Roland Rudd or Alan Parker were on the phone. His energy for contact-building and networking knows no bounds. Standard Chartered. He has built Brunswick into a truly international firm and as a consequence is less focused on London. now boasts a number of heavyweight clients including Vodafone. and there are then a number of pr executives who got single or a couple of votes. financial journalists still rate him highly and it is no surprise he has been hard to dislodge from second place in our poll. has developed over the years a vast network of business leaders. RBS. 2 Alan Parker. 1 Roland Rudd.’s wine critic. despite the fact that financial public relations agencies tend to take on women in healthy numbers. and more recently merged with US partner RLM. comes in at sixth place. Rudd is also chairman of Britain for New Europe. RLM Finsbury Roland Rudd has won the City A. In our last poll. of Barclays Bank. a former journalist and the son of a City stockbroker. has since been absorbed into Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP Group. The top six on our list are stand outs in terms of votes they received. Doherty’s presence on the list is indicative of the tough year that Barclays has had as well as the undoubted respect he clearly cultivates amongst some senior journalists.Wonga and Schroders. The industry will be hoping that this changes in the years ahead. who speak for many different clients.6/2/2014 Revealed: The City’s most influential financial PRs | City A. Other big beasts of the public relations world to feature in our poll include Neil Bennett of Maitland in fourth place. Bennett. Stephen Doherty. http://www. now nearly five years ago. So we have included a separate list to mention everyone that was voted for. The company he founded. she knew it was worth taking”. BSkyB and Sainsbury. just six points behind Grant. Finsbury. Brunswick Alan Parker was the doyen of financial public relations executives in London before Roland Rudd set up Finsbury in the 1990s. Clients include 2/10 .M. then city editor of the Times.cityam. communicator and has deliberately not gone down the more political. just one woman – Shakila Ahmed of Travelodge – was nominated by our panel members. He is also City A.M. Points total 28. bankers and politicians.

Also mentioned (in no particular order) Tim Burt Stockwell Nick Miles Ex-M:Communications Guy Lamming RLM Finsbury Matthew Freud Freud Communications Chris Barrie Citigate Tim Allan Portland James Henderson Pelham Bell Pottinger http://www. including seven as the city editor of the Sunday Telegraph and he was a member of the Telegraph’s management board. Tulchan Andrew Grant has significantly improved his approval rating with business journalists since our last poll. rising to the position of MD. he spent four years at Cohn & Wolf. Points total 20.cityam. Initially focused on Irish clients. despite his firm recently losing the Marks & Spencer account. Powerscourt is far more mainstream now. 5 Stephen Doherty. 3 Andrew Grant. Points total 14. Points total 7. Prior to Diageo. Powerscourt Rory Godson’s Powerscourt is fast becoming one of the go-to agencies for crisis PR. having joined from Diageo last year.M. Prior to that. which is now in third place for FTSE 100 clients behind Brunswick and RLM Finsbury. He joined from Gavin Anderson as managing partner in 2004. His appointment was seen as a reflection of the bank’s desire to provide a robust voice in the high-profile regulatory debates around the global financial services industry.6/2/2014 Revealed: The City’s most influential financial PRs | City A. Maitland Neil Bennett has been Maitland’s chief executive since 2010. and leads a number of the firm’s accounts. Tulchan. 4 Neil Bennett. corporate affairs and chief operating officer for London. Points total 9. having joined the UK drinks giant in 2007. With Barclays embroiled in both the Libor and PPI scandals. 6 Rory Godson. He has also had stints at Weber Shandwick and Edelman. It advised BP on the Gulf spill and News Corporation on the consequences of the phonehacking scandal. Doherty is currently director of comms at Diageo. he couldn’t have chosen a more challenging role. When Nat Rothschild needed a new adviser after picking a fight with the board of Bumi he went to Godson’s Powerscourt. Barclays Stephen Doherty leads Barclays’ corporate comms. Grant is a former Brunswick star who left to set up his own agency. broadcaster and journalist. he spent 18 years as an 3/10 . columnist.

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