Quiller Consultants

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Quiller Consultants is a PR and lobbying firm. In 2006, it became part of the Huntsworth Group, which is owned by Tory peer and David Cameron’s constituency chairman Lord Chadlington.

Quiller was co-founded in 1998 by John Eisenhammer and Jonathan Hill. On 10 September 2014, Hill was chosen by David Cameron to be Britain’s next European Commissioner in charge of financial services regulation.

Contents

"Years of inside experience"

According to Quiller's website:

"The Quiller team is drawn from across the political spectrum and has many years of inside experience of Whitehall and Westminster at the most senior level, including Downing Street and the Treasury. This gives us a very broad range of contacts with politicians, civil servants and regulators. We also know how the system really works and how our clients can make their case most effectively. Sometimes this is best done behind the scenes. At other times, the situation will call for a high-profile campaign, where we help clients influence opinion through the media as well as in Parliament."[1]

Quiller offers reputation management, financial and corporate communications, public affairs advice, campaigning expertise, litigation communications and crisis and issues management.


Working for the financial services industry

Quiller has long-standing ties to the financial services industry in the UK.

Promoting voluntary code of conduct for the banks

In May 2014, Quiller was cited as the press contact for a new initiative, the Banking Standards Review Council, a 'new organisation charged with raising standards in the banking industry'. It will set standards for “culture, competence and customer outcomes” and publish an annual report detailing where banks have failed. The UK’s seven largest lenders have agreed to sign up to the new body. However, critics have pointed out that the body does not have disciplinary powers and relies on banks following the code on a voluntary basis.[2]


Protecting the reputation of the City

Quiller was appointed lobbyists to the City of London Corporation, the local authority and lobbyists for the City, after the 2010 May general election until December 2010 to to provide initial advice on the implications of the policies and actions of the coalition government’. It won a further contract in January 2011 and is still retained in September 2014.

In the autumn of 2011, Quiller was asked by the City of London Corporation to help it contain the fallout from the Occupy protest. The ‘high-profile, intensive crisis/ reputation management’ brief Quiller was handed was to minimise the damage to the Corporation’s reputation.

As Cave and Rowell describe in A Quiet Word (Bodley Head, 2014):[3]

'The Corporation was in the frame as it was behind the legal action to remove the Occupy camp from St Paul’s. But, more significantly, Occupy London was calling for democratic changes to the Corporation. On 7 November 2011, protesters issued a statement asking for the Corporation to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, to publish its accounts and for the end of City businesses voting in elections... The camp was attracting a lot of media attention and the same week it issued the statement, the movement was gaining real momentum too. On 9 November, thousands of protesting students marched past St Paul’s steps in solidarity.
This was the point at which the Corporation picked up the phone to Quiller. Forty-eight hours later, three of its spinners arrived at the West Wing of the Corporation’s HQ Guildhall. They were George Bridges, a friend to the Chancellor, George Osborne, who helped run the Tories’ 2010 general election campaign; Alasdair Murray, a former Times and Mail on Sunday journalist; and another ex-hack, John Eisenhammer, Quiller’s co-founder and its man for ‘handling of difficult and sensitive issues’.
Every day for the next week Quiller was invited to meetings at the Corporation. We have no information on what they actually did. They might have been sitting on their hands for all we know. Quiller did, however, produce a document, ‘City of London Corporation: The “Occupy” Protests’, which summarises the fallout, or lack of, for the Corporation.
According to analysis of coverage of the Occupy protest commissioned by Quiller, only 10 per cent of stories were unfavourable to the City of London Corporation, despite it being a central focus of the protest. This dropped to 6 per cent without the Guardian, which was the major exception to the overall tone of the coverage. The stories that did negatively focus on the Corporation, it noted, did not get followed up by others. They also reflected the ‘well-established views’ of the Corporation’s critics. What is implied is that as long as it stayed that way, and the views of critics did not bleed into the pages of, for example, the Telegraph, the situation was contained. Quiller advised that a sense of perspective about the coverage was needed. There had been no harm done to the Corporation’s reputation. What role was played by Quiller in achieving this is not known.'


Financial sector clients

Quiller has provided PR and lobbying services to many in financial services, including: In 2014:

Recent financial sector clients:

People

  • John Eisenhammer - Co-founder and chairman of Quiller.
  • Malcolm Morton - ex-parliamentary aide to David Rutley MP, assisting on the Treasury Select Committee, and latterly in his capacity as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Damian Green MP, the Minister of State for Immigration in the Home Office. Before the 2010 General Election, Malcolm served as policy researcher to Mark Harper MP in his role as Shadow Work and Pensions Minister. In 2012-13 Harper was in charge of regulating lobbyists with the introduction of a statutory register of lobbyists.[6]
  • Michael Smyth - Senior adviser at Quiller. A former partner at legal firm Clifford Chance and the firm’s Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for a decade. His extensive legal experience has included running public inquiries in the UK (including the Hutton Inquiry (2004) and Deepcut Review (2006) and abroad (including in Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands) [7]
  • Alasdair Murray, Senior adviser at Quiller. A former think tanker, having worked for Centre for European Reform and CentreForum; for which he still writes.
  • Howell James, Left his role as head of corporate communications at Christie’s to replace Worth as chief executive of Quiller.[8]

June 2014-August 2014

Ruwan Kodikara | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | Sehr Sarwar | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith | Sean Worth[9]

March 2014-May 2014

John Eisenhammer | Ruwan Kodikara | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | Sehr Sarwar | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith | Sean Worth[10]

December 2013-February 2014

John Eisenhammer | Ruwan Kodikara | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | Sehr Sarwar | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith | Sean Worth [11]

September 2013-November 2013

George Bridges | John Eisenhammer | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith | Sean Worth[12]

June 2013-August 2013

George Bridges | John Eisenhammer | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith[13]

March 2013-May 2013

George Bridges | John Eisenhammer | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell | John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith[14]

December 2012-February 2013

George Bridges | John Eisenhammer | Malcolm Morton | Alasdair Murray | Stephen Parkinson | Abbas Poptani | Gerard Russell John Slinger | Larry Smith | Peter Wilson-Smith[15]

Former management and staff

  • George Bridges, left Quiller to become to become senior adviser to the chief of the UK operation of Spanish banking giant Santander in January 2014. [16] In 2006 Bridges was Campaign Director for the Conservative Party, and was responsible for the Party’s media, political and campaign teams. Before that, he was Chairman of the Conservative Research Department, helping to shape and implement the Party’s political strategy[17]
  • Peter Barnes: "helps clients to engage effectively with the UK Government, Parliament and competition authorities. He has a particular specialization in healthcare, financial services, energy and gambling policy." He spent almost a decade at senior levels in two government departments: at HM Treasury he was private secretary (chief of staff) to the Minister responsible for Government policy on tax and financial services. Then as Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Social Security, he helped to legislate major reforms of welfare and pensions.[18]
  • Stephen Parkinson - Former executive at Quiller. Is now a special adviser to the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP.[21] Previous to joining Quiller he was a Conservative Party aide who was part of the small team that used to prepare David Cameron for Prime Minister’s Questions when he was leader of the Opposition. Before that was Director of Research at the Centre for Policy Studies, the free market think-thank. Was also a Conservative candidate for Newcastle upon Tyne North at the 2010 general election, and subsequently National Organiser of the cross-party NO to AV campaign for the referendum in May 2011.[22]

Lobbying Clients

Quiller lists its clients as including multinational companies, financial institutions, public sector bodies, foreign governments, membership and campaigning organisations, professional services firms, schools and universities, charities, family offices, and individuals.[23]

June 2014-August 2014

Circle Holdings Plc | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Korean Electric Power Company | Korean Nuclear Association for International Cooperation | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | SWIFT | Syrian Opposition Coalition | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | The British Land Company PLC | The City of London Corporation | The Co-operative Group | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group | URS Infrastructure & Environment UK[9]

March 2014-May 2014

Circle Holdings Plc | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | SWIFT | Syrian Opposition Coalition | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | The Co-operative Group | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | URS Infrastructure & Environment UK[10]

December 2013-February 2014

Circle Holdings Plc | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | PwC | SWIFT | Syrian Opposition Coalition | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | The Actuarial Profession | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | The Co-operative Group | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | URS Infrastructure & Environment UK [11]

September 2013-November 2013

A4e Ltd | Capita plc | Circle Holdings Plc | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | PwC | Reaction Engines Limited | SWIFT | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | The Actuarial Profession | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | The Co-operative Group | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | URS Infrastructure & Environment UK[12]

June 2013 -August 2013

A4e Ltd | Circle Holdings Plc | Financial Reporting Council | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | PwC | Reaction Engines Limited | SWIFT | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | The Actuarial Profession | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | The Co-operative Group | Tullett Prebon Group Ltd | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | URS Infrastructure & Environment UK[13]

March 2013-May 2013

A4e Ltd | Financial Reporting Council | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Migrationwatch UK | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | Mitie Group Plc | PwC | Reaction Engines Limited | SWIFT | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | Tesco Plc | The Actuarial Profession]] | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | Tullett Prebon Group Ltd | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE[14]

December 2012-February 2013

A4e Ltd | All-Party Parliamentary Game and Wildlife | Conservation Group | Financial Reporting Council | Grosvenor | HSBC Bank plc | Kingfisher plc | Migrationwatch UK | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | Mitie Group Plc | PwC | Reaction Engines Limited | SWIFT | Telefonica O2 UK Limited | Tesco Plc | The Actuarial Profession | The British Land Company PLC | The Business Services Association | The City of London Corporation | The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust | Tullett Prebon Group Ltd | United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group[15]

2011

Lobbying clients according to the Association of Professional Political Consultants's register as of December 2011:[24]Brewin Dolphin | Experian | Financial Reporting Council | HSBC | Iggesund Paperboard | LGC | Maximus UK | Migrationwatch UK | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE | Mitie Group | Pinnacle Regeneration Group | PwC | Reaction Engines | Telefónica O2 UK | Tesco | The Actuarial Profession | British Land | Business Services Association | Capita | City of London Corporation | Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust | Transport Sense | Tullett Prebon

Lobbying clients in the quarter to May 2011.[25]

Brewin Dolphin Limited, Experian Limited, Financial Reporting Council, HG Capital, HSBC Bank Plc, JustGiving, LGC,Migrationwatch UK, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE, Mitie Group Plc, PwC, Reaction Engines Limited, Telefónica O2 UK,The Actuarial Profession, The British Land Company PLC, Business Services Association, Capita Group Plc, City of London Corporation, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust,Transport Sense, Tullett Prebon Plc

United Kingdom-United Arab Emirates All-Party Parliamentary Group - 'Quiller Consultants provide secretariat services to the group on behalf of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. [26]

2011 APPC Register

George Bridges, Nick Dunne, John Eisenhammer, Malcolm Morton, Alasdair Murray, Bee Roycroft, John Slinger, Larry Smith, Peter Wilson-Smith[25]

2010

Quiller joined the APPC in May 2010, listing its clients (June-August 2010) as:[27] Bank of America, Brewin Dolphin Limited, Citadel Investment Group, Experian Limited, HG Capital, HSBC Bank Plc, Reaction Engines Limited, Telefónica O2 UK Limited, Tesco Plc, Business Service Association, Capita Group Plc, City of London Corporation, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Sir Keith Park Memorial Campaign, Tullett Prebon Plc, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE

Prior to May 2010, Quiller failed to reveal its client list. However, other reports suggest that it advised these organisations:

Contacts

Quiller Consultants 11-12 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6LB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7233 9444 Fax: +44 (0)20 7233 657

http://www.quillerconsult.co.uk

References

  1. Quiller Consultants website, accessed Nov 2008
  2. [http://www.bankingstandardsreview.org.uk/assets/docs/maypr.pdf Leading banks back Lambert proposals for new standards body, Banking Standards Review Council press release, 19 May 2014
  3. 'A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain', Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell, Bodley Head, March 2014
  4. 'HSBC reviews UK public affairs', Public Affairs News, June 2014
  5. Co-operative Group slashes funding for charities, The Guardian, 7 December 2013
  6. Our People, Quiller Consultants, accessed Jan 2012
  7. Quiller Consultants, Our People: Michael Smyth CBE, undated, website accessed 14 October 2011
  8. Howell James to head Quiller Accessed 9/9/14
  9. 9.0 9.1 Register 1st June 2014 - 31st August 2014 APPC, accessed 17 October 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Register for 1st March 2014 - 31st May 2014 APPC, accessed September 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Register for 1st December 2013 - 28th February 2014 APPC, accessed 7 October 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Register for 1st September 2013 - 30th November 2013 APPC, accessed 7 October 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Register for 1st June 2013 - 31st August 2013 APPC, accessed 7 October 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Register for 1st March 2013 - 31st May 2013 APPC, accessed 7 October 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Register for 1st December 2012 - 28th February 2013 APPC, accessed 7 October 2014
  16. John Owens, Quiller's George Bridges quits to advise Santander CEO Ana Botín, PRWeek,8 November 08, 2013, acc 9 September 2014
  17. Quiller Consultants website, accessed Nov 2008
  18. Quiller Consultants website, Quiller website, accessed Nov 2008
  19. Sean Worth leaves Quiller Accessed 9/9/14
  20. Peter Wilson-Smith to leave Quiller Accessed 9/9/14
  21. Mark Wallace The longlist to succees Hague in Richmond Conservative Home 1 October 2014, accessed 7 October 2014
  22. Stephen Parkinson, Quiller Consultants' website, accessed 19 October 2011
  23. Quiller consultants Our clients, accessed 29 January 2009
  24. APPC Register, accessed December 2011
  25. 25.0 25.1 [1 March - 31 May 2011]
  26. Register of ALL-PARTY GROUPS October 2010, and 28 October 2011
  27. APPC register, 1 June- 31 August 2010
  28. Private-equity body BVCA appoints comms director, Public Affairs News, May 2008
  29. http://www.bridgesventures.com/news.php?newsID=39

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