Alan Parker

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Sir Alan Parker is founder and senior partner at Brunswick public relations. Parker is one of the UK's leading financial PR men (alongside Roland Rudd). He is close to the UK's political elite.

He is married to former political lobbyist Jane Hardman. His father is former British Rail boss Sir Peter Parker.

Political connections

Parker is a close personal friend of former UK prime minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah. Brown is godfather to one of Parker's children and Sarah used to work at Brunswick. It was Parker who recommended Stephen Carter, former Ofcom chief executive and (briefly) the chief executive of Brunswick, to be the PM's new chief of strategy. When Brown visited China and India at the beginning of 2008, he was accompanied not only by Carter but Parker as well, prompting one observer to ask - was the prime minister getting two advisers for the price of one?[1]

In 2007 the then Conservative Party leader David Cameron sat next to Parker at his wedding - Parker's wife is said to be very close to Cameron's longstanding aide Kate Fall)[2] and they were later pictured on holiday together in South Africa in 2008. [3]

Parker's knighthood in 2014 gave further ammunition that that Cameron was awarding honours to those close to him or his party[4].

The City's PR man

Robert Peston notes in his 2008 book Who Runs Britain?:

"For the past 20 years Parker has exercised significant influence on the British corporate scene. He has a network of close contacts at the top of British companies and a similar network within the financial press. As an intermediary between these two networks he tries to shape perceptions of companies or business people."

According to the Evening Standard in 2005:

"...astute and lucky financial operator. His career has been meteoric. He first went into the City in 1981 to work in financial PR for Brian Basham at Broad Street Associates. Just six years later, he set up Brunswick on his own, initially using the Parker parents' front room as an office. It swiftly became the City's top PR firm, employed by companies such as BA, ICI and Barclays Bank to fend off or expedite takeovers and mergers, and was even taken on by Martha Stewart in an attempt to polish up her image during the ImClone scandal in 2002."[5]

And CFO Europe reported in March 2006:

It is generally accepted that modern financial public relations was the brainchild of Alan Parker, the reclusive founder of Brunswick, an independent London-based agency that is consistently at the top of European deal advisory league tables. Parker was a rock band manager until his father, Sir Peter Parker, former head of British Rail, got him a job in PR. He founded Brunswick at the end of the 1980s and is credited with bringing investment banking-style professionalism to the trade. Brunswick’s influence spread within the London financial community, and latterly to Wall Street and continental Europe, where firms have copied its approach.[6]

The Guardian also mentions Parker's low profile in 2001:

"As with any great PR man, Alan Parker's influence far outweighs his visibility. He founded financial PR consultancy Brunswick in 1987 and it is now accepted as the most powerful agencies in the City. Brunswick advises around one-third of the FTSE's top 100 firms including British Airways, Marks & Spencer and Marconi on their relationship with investors... The son of former British Rail chairman Sir Peter Parker, Mr Parker is renowned as a master salesman and pulled off a notable coup earlier this year when he recruited former Bill Clinton aide James Rubin, bolstering the agency's prowess in political affairs. However, his agency has run into some flak of late. It has been criticised for paying its junior staff badly and its slowness to expand internationally." [7]

It also reports on Parker's personal fortune:

"Mr Parker's trust owns 88 per cent of Brunswick's Channel Islands holding company, Wynnstay, giving him a vice-like grip on the agency. His personal assets of £6m, combined with a company stake worth an estimated £114m, pushed him into 268th place in the Sunday Times Rich List alongside Sir Tim Rice and Sir Martin Sorrell.

Parker was awarded the CIPR's president's medal and made an honourary fellow in 2002. His peers described him and his company in the following terms:

"Alan Parker is our industry's most distinguished practitioner. He has reinvented financial communications and has made Brunswick the pre-eminent business of its time. This award recognises that remarkable record. I am delighted to welcome him as an honorary fellow of the IPR.[8]

Letter to the Telegraph

On 1 April 2015 Parker was one of 103 business leaders who wrote to the Telegraph praising the British Conservative Party's economic policies and claiming a Labour government would 'threaten jobs and deter investment' in the UK.[9]


The Electoral Commission records Parker as having donated £4000 to David Miliband in July 2010. [10]


Previous employment


According to data lodged at Companies House, Parker is a current director of 52 separate companies (plus has resigned from 6 and held 5 appointments at 5 dissolved companies). Most, if not all, of these form a complex web of subsidiaries, parents and holding companies for the various operations of the Brunswick group. As at October 2014 they comprise the following:



Parker is a current director of 34 separate companies (plus - at differing London addresses, the current director of a further one, resigned from 5 and director of four dissolved companies), as at January 2007 they comprise the following:

Occupation: PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT Company Number: 03246929

Parker's directorships (last five years in 1997)


  1. Alan Parker profile, Guardian, 14 July 2008
  2. Cameron and Brown to attend top spin doctor's wedding The Evening Standard, 9 March 2007, 15 October 2014
  3. Alan Parker profile, Guardian, 14 July 2008
  4. Christopher Hope New Year Honours 2014: David Cameron 'cronies' rewarded The Telegraph, 30 Dec 2013, accessed 15 October 2014
  5. The fabulous Parkerboys,' Evening Standard (London), Oct 14
  6. [ CFO Europe, 7 March 2006
  7. Alan Parker profile, Guardian, 16 July 2001
  8. Institute of Public Relations website, 2002
  9. Peter Dominiczak, 100 business chiefs: Labour threatens Britain's recovery, Telegraph, 3 April 2015.
  10. EC Reference C0003205 Reported 01/08/2010 received 20/07/2010
  11. CentreForum Board accessed 21st August 2008