Brunswick Group

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Brunswick Group is an international PR firm, with almost a third of the FTSE 100 top firms as clients, they are the biggest financial communications consultancy in the UK. They paid more than £5,000 to the Labour Party for 'tickets for dinners' in 1999-2000 and gave £9,000 in August 2001. The company also donated the services of an employee to the Government to help work on the Financial Services and Markets Bill - legislation which will regulate business in the City and which would provide invaluable information to Brunswick s clients.

History

The Brunswick Group was founded in 1987. They advise on media and investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, competition and regulatory issues, crisis management, international communications and corporate campaigns. Although Brunswick are reluctant to advertise client details, they represent firms including British Airways, BT, EMI, Marks & Spencer (dropped recently) Marconi (ditto), Safeway, Casenove (City Stockbrokers), Blue Circle (fought off Lafarge takeover – cost £27m for all advisors) Standard Life (£1m+ fighting off demutualization), Newcastle United, Malcolm Glazer, MK Dons, Railtrack (before administration) and HBoS and range from some of the world's biggest companies, retained on an international mandate, to small and unquoted businesses. Also running the PR for London’s bid to host the Olympics in 2012. They have offices in London, New York, Germany and Johannesburg.

Founder Alan Parker (son of former British Rail chairman Sir Peter Parker) owns 88% of Brunswick's Channel Islands holding company, Wynnstay, giving him control of the agency and a stake in the company worth an estimated £114m. [1] Parker's personal assets are thought to be around £6m.

In 2001, Parker recruited Bill Clinton's former aide, James Rubin, to Brunswick's political affairs unit. Rubin reportedly left in April 2004, according to the Observer:

Former state department spokesman James Rubin... was hired in a blaze of publicity by top financial PR firm Bruns-wick some time ago. That gave founder Alan Parker the right to brag that he had bagged one half of the world's most glamourous media couples (Rubin is married to London-based CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour).
Now rumour has it that Rubin has quietly quit, although not many people at Brunswick's Holborn HQ will have noticed. 'He was in the office about as often as Johnny Vegas is in the gym,' says a Brunswick insider. ( Media diary, 'Parker feels the rub as star signing quits', Observer Business Pages, Pg. 7, April 25, 2004 [2])

Later the firm's arts events subsidiary was joined by the former partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications and wife of Gordon Brown, Sarah Macaulay. Sarah Macaulay is ‘the fashionably reserved co-founder of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications’. She marketed Emily's List, the campaign to increase the number of women MPs.

Brunswick employs over 320 staff, including 40 partners. They advise on media and investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, competition and regulatory issues, crisis management, international communications and corporate campaigns.

Business activities in the company's language:

  • Ongoing IR & PR: maintaining and increasing trust and understanding among investors, analysts and media commentators
  • Financial calendar: we will ensure your results announcements are correctly positioned and managed
  • IPOs & financings: launching companies in the public markets and creating the communications infrastructure for a new level of corporate disclosure
  • Crisis & litigation: defending a company's integrity, business practices and assets, and developing an effective path to weather the storm
  • Corporate transactions: maximising support for transactions, including M&A
  • Restructurings: ensuring that communications maximizes a company's future viability
  • Regulatory & public affairs: utilising communications to encourage support from regulatory agencies and governmental opinion formers
  • At 1st of May 2005 Brunswick Group started a trade union like support campaign for EICTA's project Patents4Innovation

Previous names

The Brunswick Group has been through many differing names and identities. The aim of this is presumably to hide financial information and to keep it offshore. Records available at companies House show that Brunswick itself used to be called Lincoln Research Ltd. Its name was changed to Brunswick Public Relations Limited on 6 March 1997.

Other companies in the group or of which Alan Parker or John Andrew Fenwick are Directors have also gone through seemingly confusing name changes.

Subsidiaries

Projects

Clients

Red Star Research described Brunswick as having "almost a third of the FTSE 100 top firms as clients, they are the biggest financial communications consultancy in the UK. They paid more than £5,000 to the Labour Party for 'tickets for dinners' in 1999-2000 and gave £9,000 in August 2001. The company also donated the services of an employee to the Government to help work on the Financial Services and Markets Bill - legislation which will regulate business in the City and which would provide invaluable information to Brunswick s clients." [5]

"Although Brunswick are reluctant to advertise client details, they represent firms including BT, Marks & Spencer and the Bank of Scotland and range from some of the world's biggest companies, retained on an international mandate, to small and unquoted businesses," they note. [6]

In July 2002 the Wall Street Journal reported that Martha Stewart had hired the Brunswick Group to massage her image in the wake of allegations that she profited from insider trading. [7]

In March 2004, the controversy over the exaggeration of the oil and gas reserves of Shell Oil resulted in the resignation of the then chairman, Philip Watts, and Walter van de Vijver, who was responsible for exploration and production. In an attempt to manage the crisis Shell hired the Brunswick Group to help it manage the crisis. "Brunswick has recently come on board, but we don't really say much more about what they do," Corrigan told PR Week. [8]

Personnel

Contact details

16 Licoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3ED
UK
Phone: 44 20 7404 5959
Fax: 44 20 7831 2823
Web: http://www.brunswickgroup.com

Brunswick Group LLC
1212 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005, USA
Tel +1 202 393 7337
Fax +1 202 898 1588

External links