Edelman has launched its financial communications boutique Edelman Smithfield globally. Edelman Smithfield specialises in financial markets and strategic situations and brings together the agency's financial communications and financial services teams under one brand. Lex Suvanto (pictured left) serves as its global CEO while Jason Leow (pictured right) leads the APAC operations as vice chair and head. 

The boutique combines specialised industry knowledge with global scale and localised expertise, while remaining connected to and integrated with Edelman’s full capabilities. Leow told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that Edelman Smithfield launched in APAC because it believes that the region is open for financial communications expertise.

“This is a good time to launch our specialist Edelman Smithfield capabilities as part of the broader Edelman brand so that our clients also benefit from the breadth and depth of our parent firm. Our APAC network is wide, with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Melbourne, Tokyo, Seoul, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta,” Leow said.

To bring more awareness to its financial communications expertise in APAC, it will also launch a series of marketing activities including rolling out key and timely IPs, speaking at major industry conferences and publishing bylined commentaries. It is also on the lookout for advisors with expertise in financial services and financial communications, and the workings of private and public markets , as well as those with capabilities in M&A, restructuring, activist defence and ESG.

Edelman Smithfield focuses on advising senior leaders and management teams in navigating complex matters that impact reputation and valuation. It was launched after Edelman’s acquisition of UK-based financial communications firm Smithfield in 2015. The acquisition was part of Edelman’s ongoing investment and growth in financial communications, and the Edelman Smithfield brand was consequently rolled out in Germany, the Middle East and Canada. Currently, it includes leaders and teams in a total of 25 cities and 15 countries worldwide. Edelman aims to commit significant resources to the continued expansion of the Edelman Smithfield platform in key markets around the world.

Edelman Smithfield is comprised of two primary practice areas. Its first practice area comprises its partnership with companies in the financial markets to help them protect, promote and evolve their reputation. Functioning as a communications advisor in the financial markets, it works with financial markets participants such as investment firms, private equity and venture capital funds, hedge funds, banks, insurers, fintech, and crypto to develop and execute tailored communications programmes that build trust and strengthen reputations in the marketplace.

Its second practice area comprises its partnership with companies navigating and communicating with the financial markets and during strategic situations. It advises boards of directors, management teams and communications professionals on high impact strategic situations, such as mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, bankruptcies and restructurings, shareholder activism, litigation, management changes and regulatory matters, as well as ongoing engagement with the investment community, including investor relations and critical ESG matters.

Suvanto said: “We have a singular goal of building a financial communications powerhouse globally, and Edelman is providing the investment and runway to make this a reality. Together as a global team and with a unified banner and strategy, we will unlock new opportunities, while always prioritising excellent client work, conducting ourselves with integrity and attracting and empowering an incredible team of dedicated advisors.”

Meanwhile, Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, said: “The financial communications team has built an incredible platform and has advised on some of the highest profile clients and situations over the past several years. We continue to see significant demand from both existing and new clients for the work that they are leading, especially given the volatility and complexity of the global financial markets.”

Additionally, Edelman-owned global entertainment, sports and lifestyle agency, United Entertainment Group (UEG) , launched in Asia Pacific in April. Its operations are based in Sydney, which serves as a hub for the region with Si  Philby as its executive vice president. UEG was formed in 2007 and acquired by Edelman in 2015.  The agency’s offerings include guiding brands – such as Samsung, ASICS, The North Face, and Starbucks – through innovative talent and influencer partnerships, impactful brand storytelling and experience, rights and partnerships.

Separately, just last month, Edelman’s Asia Pacific president and CEO, Stephen Kehoe , left the company. He held the role since July 2019. Prior to this role, he was global head of sectors and practices at Edelman, which provided leadership over public affairs, corporate communications, executive positioning, consumer brand and a range of industry specialisms, such as health, technology, food and financial services.

Related articles:
Stephen Kehoe steps down as Edelman APAC CEO
Edelman's sports and lifestyle agency United Entertainment Group breaks into APAC

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