Finsbury

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.
Finsbury is a leading, London-based financial PR and lobbying company.

It describes itself as providing "an integrated service advising on all areas of communication with the global financial community, including financial media, political & regulatory affairs and investor relations." [1]

Finsbury, Tenter House, 45 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AE (next to Moorgate station)

Company structure and history

Finsbury was founded in London in October 1994 and in 2001 was taken over to become part of the WPP group. Finsbury was 75 percent owned by Roland Rudd, who made £41 million by selling the company. Another two directors, Rupert Younger and James Murgatroyd shared another £14 million between them from the sale.[2] Finsbury's work on EU political & regulatory issues is done via Finsbury International Policy & Regulatory Advisors (Fipra).

In July 2011 Finsbury Group ("Finsbury") and Robinson Lerer & Montgomery ("RLM"), merged to create RLM Finsbury. [3]

Global 'partnership'

In May 2017 Finsbury formed a partnership with US PR and lobbying firm, the Glover Park Group, having previously partnered with German / Brussels communications firm, Hering Schuppener in April 2016. The three firms will, they say, be able to support clients in the 'major international centres of business, finance and policymaking'.[4]

Reform Europe 'to meet business needs'

In 2007 Rudd was founding chairman of the campaign group, Business for New Europe (BNE), which wants Britain to play a leading role inside the EU - reforming it to meet business interests and needs, and expansion to include Turkey. Sir Nigel Rudd (no relation), chairman of BAA from August 2007, and Roger Carr, who went on to chair energy giant Centrica - two of Finsbury's most productive supporters - are on BNE's advisory board. Martin Sorrell, head of owners WPP also sits on the BNE advisory group. 'Rudd and Sorrell like to think they're plugged in, they exchange gossip', it is reported. Rudd in 2007 said of BNE: 'I enjoy it enormously because it enables me to engage with Ed [Balls], with George Osborne on the Tory side and Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg from the Lib Dems.'[5]

Donations to 2016 referendum on Britain's EU membership

The Finsbury Group donated £7,508.50 on 04 April 2016 to Britain Stronger in Europe, the lead pro-EU campaign in Britain's referendum on membership of the EU in June 2016.

It gave another £18,904.60 in May 2016.[6][7]

Recorded by the Electoral Commission:

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to
13/05/2016 Finsbury Group Ltd £18,904.60 Britain Stronger in Europe
20/04/2016 Finsbury Group Ltd £7,508.50 Britain Stronger in Europe
[8]

Political links

Finsbury has close ties to New Labour through its founder Roland Rudd. For example, Rudd is friends with Peter Mandelson and Ed Balls, a close confident of Gordon Brown. Rudd says: "I've a very good relationship with Ed (Balls) - he's been a friend from FT days". He also knows David Cameron, who was a client when Cameron was at Carlton: "He came to dinner with our clients recently (2007). I was pleased - it showed he's not tribal," says Rudd.[9] It's reported that Rudd has "finely honed social and political connections":

Dinners at his grand house in Kensington are relaxed, informal occasions. Sophie [his wife], who designs women's eveningwear, will be there. The guests will include a client or two, heads of large companies, a top banker, a senior journalist and a Cabinet minister and their other halves. Even Tony Blair has supped at his table. Rudd was one of four people who met at the house of Charles Dunstone, the Carphone Warehouse magnate, to plot the ex-PM's next move in the run-up to Blair's departure."[10]

Rudd also held a garden party on 28 June 2007 to raise funds for the NSPCC.[11] Present were retailer Sir Philip Green, owner of Arcadia (Topshop, Burton and others), Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail and Paul Myners, former chairman of Marks & Spencer who was appointed Financial Services Secretary (a position sometimes referred to as City Minister) in HM Treasury by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in October 2008. Baron Myners was given a peerage at the same time.

Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson was also a guest of Rudd's. He flew home from the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos in February on Rudd's private jet.[12] In addition:

  • Finsbury paid more than £5,000 to the Labour Party for 'tickets for dinners' in 1999-2000.
  • The firm previously hired the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer.
  • In 2001 Finsbury's party guests included the present culture secretary Tessa Jowell and education minister (and peer) Andrew Adonis, as well as the then Labour party boss, also since ennobled, Lord Triesman.
  • Finsbury then won the 2002 contract to advise then Transport Secretary Stephen "Liar" Byers over the Railtrack collapse.
  • In 2006 Tony Blair's eldest son Euan did work experience at Finsbury. Private Eye commented: "So look out for the pay-off... most likely to come for such a selfless act as explaining to Blair the Younger the dark arts of being paid to lie..."[13]

Lobbying

Finsbury has regular discussions with government. In response to Parliamentary questions in 2008-09, it is known that Rudd, often through the BNE, organised 4 breakfast meetings, two dinners, and a number of conferences with senior Ministers at the Department for Business in 2008:[14]

  • John Hutton, when he was Secretary of State for Business, met with BNE members (Sept 2007); attended a BNE breakfast event (Dec 2007); talked on the phone with Rudd (Jan 2008); spoke at the BERR/FCO ‘Business Priorities for a Global Europe’ Conference was organised in co-operation with BNE, which Rudd chaired (Jane 2008); attended a dinner with BNE members (June 2008); met with Rudd (Oct 2008);
  • Lord Peter Mandelson, Hutton's predecessor as Secretary of State for Business (Oct 2008-), attended two breakfast meetings with Roland Rudd and several BNE company members to discuss EU economic reform issues (both Dec 2008).
  • Shriti Vadera, another Business minister (Nov 2008 - May 2010) formerly with investment bank UBS Warburg, also attended a breakfast meeting with BNE and Rudd (Oct 2008); a dinner with Rudd and "other guests" (March 2008); spoke at a BNE Enlargement Seminar (May 2008); and attended the Global Europe Business Summit alongside Rudd (Dec 2008). Also attending were president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, and the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

Finsbury has also made representations to a number of other Ministers and officials in other departments:

  • Treasury: It arranged a dinner on 19 April 2007, at which John Kingman, the former Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury was present.[15] At the time Kingman was second in command at the Treasury and managing director of finance.[16] He is now chief executive of UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the body charged with managing the Government's investments in Britain's banks.[17]
  • Transport: The Minister of State for Transport met with a representative of Finsbury on 12 and 16 December 2007.[18]

Key People

Former employees

Staff and clients

Staff

PRCA register

June 2016-August 2016

Carum Basra | Douglas Butt | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Hugo FitzGerald | John Gray | David Henderson | Lucy Noakes | Will Tanner | Tom Thatcher [22]

March 2016-May 2016

Carum Basra | Douglas Butt | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Hugo FitzGerald | John Gray | David Henderson | Lucy Noakes | Will Tanner | Tom Thatcher [23]

December 2015-February 2016

Carum Basra | Douglas Butt | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Hugo FitzGerald | John Gray | David Henderson | Kamella Hudson | Will Tanner | Tom Thatcher [24]

September 2015-November 2015

Carum Basra | David Henderson | Douglas Butt | Hugo Fitzgerald | John Gray | Kamella Hudson | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Tom Thatcher | Will Tanner [25]

June 2015-August 2015

Carum Basra | David Henderson | Douglas Butt | Ed Fordham | Eleanor O’Riordan | Hugo Fitzgerald | John Gray | Kamella Hudson | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Tom Thatcher | Will Tanner [26]

March 2015-May 2015

Carum Basra | David Henderson | Douglas Butt | Ed Fordham | Eleanor O’Riordan | Hugo Fitzgerald | John Gray | Kamella Hudson | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Tom Thatcher| Will Tanner [27]

December 2014-February 2015

Douglas Butt | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Hugo Fitzgerald | Ed Fordham | John Gray | David Henderson | Kamella Hudson | Marcus Marland | Eleanor O’Riordan | Will Tanner | Tom Thatcher [28]

September 2014-November 2014

Douglas Butt | Rory Chisholm | Scott Colvin | Hugo Fitzgerald | Ed Fordham | John Gray | David Henderson | Kamella Hudson | Marcus Marland | Eleanor O’Riordan | Will Tanner | Tom Thatcher[29]

Clients

June 2016-August 2016

AIG | Alcoa | ASOS | Astra | Zeneca | Atlantis Resources | Beazley | Bombardier | Carillion | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | Halite Energy Group | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts | Metalysis | Old Mutual | Optum | Powersite | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Taylor Wimpey | Trainline | Universities Superannuation Scheme | VW | Welcome Break [22]

March 2016-May 2016

AIG | Alcoa | AstraZeneca | Beazley | Bombardier | Carillion | CK Hutchison | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | Halite Energy Group | IE Singapore | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | Old Mutual Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Taylor Wimpey | Thomas Cook | Trainline | Universities Superannuation Scheme | VW | Welcome Break | Worldpay [23]

December 2015-February 2016

Activision Blizzard | AIG | Alcoa | AstraZeneca | Beazley | Bombardier | CK Hutchison | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | Google UK | Halite Energy Group | IE Singapore | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group | Old Mutual Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Taylor Wimpey | Thomas Cook | Trainline | Travelodge | Universities Superannuation Scheme | VW | Welcome Break | Worldpay [24]

September 2015-November 2015

Activision Blizzard | AIG | Alcoa | AstraZeneca | Bombardier | CK Hutchison | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | Halite Energy Group | IE Singapore | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | Old Mutual | Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Taylor Wimpey | Thomas Cook | Trainline | Universities Superannuation Scheme | VW | Welcome Break | Worldpay [25]

June 2015-August 2015

3i | Activision Blizzard | AIG | AstraZeneca | Bombardier | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | G4S | Halite Energy Group | Hutchison Whampoa | IE Singapore | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | Old Mutual | Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | RELX Group plc | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Statoil | Taylor Wimpey | Thomas Cook | Trainline | Universities Superannuation Scheme | Welcome Break | Worldpay [26]

March 2015-May 2015

3i | Activision Blizzard | AIG | AstraZeneca | Bombardier | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | FirstGroup | G4S | Halite Energy Group | Hutchison Whampoa | IE Singapore | Intesa Sanpaolo | Kier | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | Old Mutual | Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | RELX Groupplc | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Statoil | Taylor Wimpey | Thomas Cook | Universities Superannuation Scheme | Welcome Break [27]

December 2014-February 2015

3i | AIG | Activision Blizzard | Alliance Boots | AstraZeneca | Bombardier | Car Giant | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | Experian | FirstGroup | G4S | Halite Energy Group | KKR | Kier | Old Mutual | Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | Qualcomm | Reed Elsevier | Starbucks | Statoil | Taylor Wimpey | Welcome Break [28]

September 2014-November 2014

3i | AIG | Activision | Alliance Boots | AstraZeneca | Bombardier | Car Giant | Daily Mail & General Trust | easyJet | Experian | FirstGroup | G4S | Halite Energy Group | KKR | Kier | Old Mutual | Optum | Paddy Power | Powersite | Prudential | Qualcomm | Reed Elsevier | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Starbucks | Taylor Wimpey | Welcome Break[29]

Registrar of consultant lobbyists

The register of consultant lobbyists documents those clients on behalf of whom Finsbury has lobbied government ministers and/or permanent secretaries.

July to September 2017

No clients reported.

April to June 2017

No clients reported.

January to March 2017

Management and Training Corporation (US-based, for-profit prison operator)

October to December 2016

Tusker

July 2016-September 2016

No clients reported.

April - June 2016

No clients reported.

January - March 2016

No clients reported.

October - December 2015

No clients reported.

July - September 2015

No clients reported.

April - June 2015

No clients reported.

January - March 2015

Halite Energy Group[30]

Finsbury claims to count more than 20 FTSE 100 and Eurofirst 300 companies as clients.[31]

Wealthy individuals

  • Rudd is reported to represent Oleg Deripaska, the 40-year-old Russian oligarch and Russia's richest man - Deripaska is a friend of Rudd's mate Peter Mandelson - and Nat Rothschild. When, in October 2008, a row erupted between Mandelson and George Osborne (Conservative shadow chancellor) about conversations had on Oleg Deripaska's boat, Rothschild was one of a number of Rudd's clients who came out in support of Mandelson[32]
  • Finsbury and Rudd were also hired by Sir Phillip Green, owner of British retail group Arcadia. Green was trying to buy Marks & Spencer. Robert Peston in his 2008 book Who Runs Britain? explains why PR support was necessary:
"This was one of those takeover struggles where the weapons were money and innuendo... The tone and coverage in the press and on television mattered even more than it usually does in this kind of corporate contest."

Peston also notes than Stuart Rose at Marks & Spencer ditched its usual PR firm, Brunswick in favour of an old friend Andrew Grant of Tulchan Communications. Philip Green, he reports, also holds Brunswick responsible for the negative publicity he faced when Green's wife purchased shares in Marks and Spencer at a previous time when Green tried to buy the company.[33]

Financial sector

Finsbury's big name clients in the financial sector include Lloyds TSB (PR only; Lloyd's lobbying is done by Citigate Dewe Rogerson[34]), private equity giant, KKR (PR and lobbying)[35] and Bradford and Bingley. In April 2011 Wonga, an online lender that charges interest rates of more than 2,600% a year became a client. [36] Two months before this client was signed Robin Walker MP and part-time Finsbury consultant tabled an amendment to a bill which sought to cap interest rates on unsecured lending. [37]

Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.

Energy sector


Lobbying clients

Lobbying clients in 2009, according to the Finsbury website include:[41]

BAA | Bradford & Bingley | British Land Company | Cerus Corporation | CH2M HILL | Daily Mail and General Trust | Equitable Life | Experian | Gilead | MOL Group | Moto | Pfizer | Reed Elsevier | Roadchef | Taylor Wimpey | Travelport | Welcome Break | Yell Group

Mining and Metals

Bluechip & International / Euro 300 / FTSE 100 / FTSE 250

Clients, according to the Finsbury website, include:[44]
Aviva | BNFL | Boots plc | Cable and Wireless | British Sky Broadcasting plc | Cable & Wireless | Centrica plc | CRH plc | Enel SpA | Eni SpA | EoN | Friends Provident | GUS | International Power | Sainsbury | KKR | Lloyds TSB | Man Group | Reed Elsevier | Rio Tinto | Royal & SunAlliance | Royal Dutch Shell | Standard Chartered | Terna SpA | Tomkins | Vodafone | WPP | Yell PLC | Morgan Crucible | Kesa Electricals | Pendragon | Filtrona plc | Great Portland Estates | SIG | Trinity Mirror | Vedanta Resources | London Stock Exchange | Mitchells & Butlers | Pennon Group | Autostrada SpA | Banca Intesa Spa | BPB plc | Edison SpA | Northern Rock | GCap Media PLC | Henderson Group plc | Inmarsat | John Laing | Jardine Lloyd Thompson | Kazakhmys | Northumbrian Water Group | Persimmon | Pilkington | Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) | Barclays Capital | Basic Element | Beazley Group plc | BNFL | C&C Group | Coral Eurobet | Electra Partners Europe | Equitable Life | Europa Capital | General Electric Co | Genesis Investment Managers | GLG Partners | Huveaux PLC | KKR | Landsbanki | Ofgem | Paypoint plc | Permira | Premiere | RDF Media Company plc | Roland Berger | RTL Group | Senior plc | Travelodge

Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

Alcohol Industry

Mitchells and Butlers | Carlsberg [45]

Selected Transactions

Boots/Alliance Unichem | Boots/BHI | BPB/St Gobain | British Land/Pillar | Bunzl/Filtrona | C&W/Energis | Capital Radio/GWR Group | Cendant Demerger | Fortune Brands/Pernod Ricard/Allied Domecq | Inmarsat IPO | Kazakhmys IPO | LSE Defence | Manchester United/Glazier | Permira/KKR/SBS | Pilkington/NSG | Somerfield/Violet | Telenet IPO | Terna | VNU/IMS | Vodafone/Bharti Tele-Venture | Vodafone Sverige

Contact

Address: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, WC2N 6HT
Website: http://www.finsbury.com

Resources

References

  1. Finsbury website
  2. ref needed
  3. WPP, Finsbury Group and Robinson Lerer & Montgomery announce merger, Press release dated 19 July 2011, accessed 26 April 2012
  4. Finsbury, The Glover Park Group and Hering Schuppener form global strategic partnership , Finsbury website, 3 May 2017
  5. Management Today, August 2007
  6. Electoral Commission, Donor Search, accessed 16 May 2016
  7. James Slack and Jack Doyle, Bankrolled by fat cats: Big US banks fund Dave's EU fight to the tune of £2million, Daily Mail, 12 May 2016
  8. Electoral Commission, Finsbury Group Donation Search, accessed 22 June 2016
  9. Management Today, August 2007
  10. Management Today, August 2007
  11. Robert Peston, Who Runs Britain?, published 2008, Hodder and Staughton
  12. Pendennis, Observer diary, 22 Feb 2009
  13. Blair the Younger does work experience with City spin doctors Private Eye, February 6, 2006, Issue 1150
  14. Hansard, written answers 12 Jan 2009 (Column 453W—continued)
  15. LIST OF HOSPITALITY RECEIVED BY BOARD MEMBERS OF GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS, 1 JANUARY – 31 DECEMBER 2007, released by the Cabinet Office, Feb 2009
  16. Business big shot: John Kingman, The Times, 11 Dec 2007
  17. John Kingman and Glen Moreno to appear before MPs, Telegraph 08 Feb 2009
  18. Hansard, 18 Dec 2008 (Column 1002W—continued)
  19. City AM, March 2008
  20. John Arlidge, Britain's new political elite The Sunday Times 23rd May 2010, accessed 11th October 2011
  21. Our People, Finsbury website, accessed Nov 2017
  22. 22.0 22.1 Current register 1st June 2016 - 31st August 2016, APPC, accessed 24 November 2016.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Register for 1st March 2016 - 31st May 2016, APPC, accessed 24 November 2016.
  24. 24.0 24.1 RLM Finsbury staff list, Dec15-Feb16, PRCA, accessed 26 April 2016 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Dec15" defined multiple times with different content
  25. 25.0 25.1 RLM Finsbury staff list, Sep15-Nov 15, PRCA, accessed 26 April 2016
  26. 26.0 26.1 RLM Finsbury staff list, Jun15-Aug15, PRCA, accessed 26 April 2016
  27. 27.0 27.1 RLM Finsbury staff list, Mar-May15, PRCA, accessed 26 April 2016
  28. 28.0 28.1 RLM Finsbury staff list, Dec14-Feb15, PRCA, accessed 26 April 2016
  29. 29.0 29.1 Agency Register September to November 2014 PRCA, accessed 27 January 2015
  30. RLM Finsbury profile 2015, Registrar of consultant lobbyists, accessed 8 February 2016
  31. WPP website, Finsbury, accessed Feb 2009
  32. Osborne, the oligarch and a yacht in Corfu, Independent, 22 October 2008
  33. Robert Peston, Who Runs Britain?, published 2008, Hodder and Staughton
  34. APPC register Nov 2008
  35. Private equity firms gear up for battle with MPs, PR Week, 13 June 2007
  36. Melanie Newman, Questions raised over MPs’ conflicts of interests The Bureau Of Investigative Journalism, 1st October 2011, accessed 11th October 2011
  37. Melanie Newman, Questions raised over MPs’ conflicts of interests The Bureau Of Investigative Journalism, 1st October 2011, accessed 11th October 2011
  38. PR Week, May 2004
  39. Corporate Watch
  40. Finsbury website Our Clients Accessed 14/07/10
  41. Finsbury website, accessed February 2009
  42. PR Week, June 12, 2009 'In the news - Rio Tinto'
  43. Finsbury website Our Clients Accessed 14/07/10
  44. Finsbury website, accessed February 2009
  45. Melanie Newman, raised over MPs’ conflicts of interests The Bureau Of Investigative Journalism, 1st October 2011, accessed 11th October 2011