Brunswick Group

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Brunswick offices, Lincolns Inn Fields, central London
Brunswick offices, Avenue des Arts 27, Brussels

The Brunswick Group is an international PR and lobbying firm, headquartered in London. Its founder is Alan Parker, friend of former UK prime minister Gordon Brown. Brunswick specialises in financial PR, and Parker is considered to be one of the UK's leading financial PR men (alongside Roland Rudd). Its blue-chip client list is the envy of most other agencies. It is one of a handful of key financial PR agencies in the UK, including: FD, Buchanan, Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Pelham PR, Finsbury, and Maitland Consultancy.

Brunswick is seen as both a major force and an enigma - it has steadfastly declined to participate in PR Week's fee income rankings, for example, and Brunswick founder, Alan Parker, rarely grants interviews and is uncomfortable when he becomes the focus of a story. ‘It's bad manners to get between the client and the footlights,' he reportedly says.[1] It also doesn't publish a client list.



Brunswick has ranked at the top or near the top of league tables for financial communications consultancies. It advises clients on public affairs, media and investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, competition and regulatory issues, crisis management, international communications and corporate reputation.[2]

On public affairs, Brunswick says:

"Our team includes former senior government advisers and political campaign staff who understand the context in which decisions are taken in government, the relative influence of the stakeholders involved and can advise on the most effective communication of a client's case. We work closely with in-house government relations teams and external lobbying firms to help broaden public support for our client's position and build a better understanding of their business among their relevant government audiences."[2]

CFO Europe reports in March 2006 on its role in corporate deals:

Brunswick has long been seen as epitomising the influence-and-access game in deals circles, something that it is exporting to other centres. Notably, in 2001 Brunswick recruited as head of its US operations Steve Lipin, a former Wall Street Journal M&A reporter with a reputation for aggressively leveraging his newspaper’s franchise to get news scoops on deals. [Brunswick] has had its share of controversy over its aggressive tactics. Also in 2001, for example, a former client, Jupiter Asset Management (which had been acquired by Commerzbank), threatened to sue Brunswick after the PR firm sent a dossier to several London newspapers claiming that Jupiter was in financial trouble.[3]

Political connections

Brunswick founder, Alan Parker is a close personal friend of Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown. The former prime minister 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?[4]

David Cameron, at the time leader of the UK Conservative Party and now UK PM, also attended Parker's wedding, alongside the Browns. Parker was pictured on holiday in South Africa in 2008 with Cameron[5]

  • Previously, in 1999-2000, Brunswick paid more than £5,000 to the Labour Party for 'tickets for dinners', and in 2001 gave £9,000 to Labour.[6]
  • Brunswick 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."[7]

Relations with the media

Brunswick and Parker have "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."[9]

The significance of a financial PR to journalists is explained by David Michie in 1997:

'Even the most energetic reporters know that they have to be somewhat deferential in the presence of a powerful publicist. No one on a national beat can afford to be on the wrong side of [those who]..represent a third of the most quotable sources in the country in the more liberal British media, reporters are less deferential to anyone; but even so the same principle holds true the most important corporate spin doctors include Alan Parker, creator of Brunswick.[10]

Besides hiring senior journalists, Brunswick provides other services to media professionals as the Independent notes in 1995:

It looks like marshmallows around the camp fire in Lincoln's Inn Field for the Daily Telegraph's City office. Staff have been three-line whipped for a bit of weekend bonding on 18 November at what looks suspiciously like the offices of Brunswick, the PR agency. A mysterious memo to staff from Neil Collins, the City editor, explains: "It's an away day to discuss the future of the City Pages. Although attendance is not compulsory those of a paranoid disposition will regret not being there and the rest of us might have a good time (although some work will be done). There will be no counselling. At this stage I do not intend to answer press inquiries. . . A wise move. While they would not confirm it, the navel gaze is apparently being run by Professional Presentations, a human resources consultancy based in Brunswick's offices and run by Lucy Parker, sister of the PR agency's Alan Parker.[11]

However, Brunswick is not beloved by all financial journalists, as this City Diary entry in 2001 shows:

The phones were out of order at Brunswick - the PR company that is to the City what lint is to pockets (annoying and hard to get rid of) - for most of yesterday. Net productivity in the City soared as a result. (If anyone at Cable & Wireless fancies making £50 in return for cutting them off again, give me a call.)[12]

History and structure

The Brunswick Group was founded in 1987. In 2009 it employed 440 people based in 15 offices in 11 countries. It has developed a robust international network - for instance, after establishing a strong presence in New York, Brunswick cracked the US West Coast by opening a San Francisco office and picking up clients of the calibre of Gap, Google, Sun Microsystems and Cisco.

The Brunswick Group has been through many different names and identities. Records available at companies House show that Brunswick used to be called Lincoln Research Ltd. Its name was changed to Brunswick Public Relations Limited on 6 March 1997. [13] Other companies in the group or of which Alan Parker or John Andrew Fenwick are Directors have also gone through name changes.




  • Alan Parker, founder and chairman. Parker owns 88 percent of Brunswick's Channel Islands holding company, Wynnstay, giving him control of the agency and a stake in the company worth an estimated £114m. Parker's personal assets are thought to be around £6m.
  • Andrew Fenwick, co-founder, vice chairman and chief financial officer, London. Owns a combined 10% of Brunswick joint with Louise Charlton.[17]
  • Louise Charlton, co-founder and vice chairman, London. Owns a combined 10% of Brunswick joint with Andrew Fenwick.[17]
  • Andrew Garfield, partner. Former financial editor of the Independent.
  • Gill Ackers, partner, London. One of the partners leading Brunswick's financial institutions team and also its media group, Gill has particular expertise in strategic positioning, reputation management and profile-raising having worked with a range of listed and unlisted corporates across Europe. Gill has advised on mergers, acquisitions and disposals and her expertise also extends to crisis and issue management, covering everything from crises in corporate performance to financial fraud, blackmail, and investigative journalism into individuals. Before joining Brunswick, Gill was head of media for the London Stock exchange. She was recently a member of the FSA's Continuing Obligations theme team, reviewing and advising on policy as part of the comprehensive review of the listing rules.[2]
  • Kim Fletcher, partner, London. Former editor of The Independent on Sunday and was editorial director - one of three joint managing directors - of Telegraph Group. Is also chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
  • Andrew Porter, partner, London. Ex-political editor at the Daily Telegraph, Deputy Political Editor for the Sunday Times and The Sun [18]
  • Alex Finnegan, director, London. Former parliamentary researcher to Anne Snelgrove MP and intern at the Labour Party.
  • Chris Blundell, partner, London. Previously worked in the press office of 10 Downing Street and on political campaigns in the United States.
  • Charlotte Winsley. director, London. Broadcast officer for William Hague's 2001 General Election campaign, head of broadcast for Conservative Central Office 2001-2004 and head of media, for Steve Norris' London Mayoral Election Campaign in 2004.
  • Lucy Parker, partner, London. Sister of founder and chairman, Alan Parker. Led a task force on Talent and Enterprise under Gordon Brown and helped to transform Brown's image.[19]
  • Sir Nigel Sheinwald, senior counselor, London. "Before serving as the Ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2012, he served as the Prime Minister’s principal foreign policy and defense adviser in Downing Street and had over a decade working at senior levels with the European Union, including as the UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the EU (2000-2003) and as Europe Director in the UK’s Foreign Office. He has also held a number of other diplomatic posts, including as Foreign Office Press Secretary in the 1990s and in Moscow. He is currently on the board of Royal Dutch Shell".[20]
  • Stuart Hudson, director, London. Special Adviser to Gordon Brown between 2008 and 2010.[21]
  • Fiona Micallef-Eynaud (née Mulcahy), director, London. Before joining Brunswick in 2008, she was an Associate Director in Citigate Dewe Rogerson's financial PR practice.[22]
  • Richard Jacques, partner, London. Before joining Brunswick in 2000, he was a diplomat based in Brussels representing the UK Government on industry and competition issues.[23]
  • Richard Meredith, partner, London. Before joining Brunswick in 2012, he was Communications Director for national security issues in the UK government.[24]
  • Azhar Khan, director, London. Joined Brunswick in 2007 from the Mayor of London’s office where he worked in the International Affairs division.[25]
  • Simon Sporborg, managing partner, London. Before joining Brunswick, Sporborg completed an MBA at Cass Business School and served in the British Army.

As of 2014:

Aideen Lee | Sir Alan Parker | Alastair Morton | Alex Finnegan | Andrew Fenwick | Andrew Garfield | Andrew Mitchell | Andrew Porter | Andy Rivett-Carnac | Anita Scott | Azadeh Varzi | Azhar Khan | Ben Rawlingson Plant | Bill Krarup | Brian Buckley | Carole Cable | Catherine Samy | Cathy Wearing | Charlie Potter | Charlotte Winsley | Chris Blundel | Clemmie Raynsford | Craig Breheny | Daisuke Tsuchiya | Dania Saidam | David Litterick | David Yelland | Debbie Higgins | Eilís Murphy | Elizabeth Adams | Elvira Eilert Pignal | Fiona Micallef-Eynaud | Frank Villaz | Gill Ackers | James Dray | James Olley | Jarrad Comley | Joe Shipley | Jon Coles | Jon Miller | Jonathan Glass | Justine McIlroy | Katie Ioanilli | Keelin MacGreevy | Khozem Merchant | Kim Barnes | Kim Fletcher | Laura Buchanan | Louise Charlton | Lucy Parker | Max McGahan | Melissa Ward | Michael Harrison | Mike Smith | Nick Claydon | Nick Cosgrove | Nina Coad | Patrick Handley | Phil Riggins | Pip Green | Polly James | Richard Carpenter | Richard Jacques | Richard Meredith | Richard Monturo | Robin Wrench | Roddy McDougall | Rosalee Rich | Rosheeka Field | Roxy Fry | Rurik Ingram | Sarah West | Sheila Robinson | Simon Leigh | Simon Sporborg | Sir Nigel Sheinwald | Sophie Brand | Stuart Donnelly | Stuart Hudson | Tim Danaher | Tim May | Toby Low | Tom Burns | Tom Williams[26]


  • Rupert Young, partner, Dubai. Launched Brunswick's office in Dubai in January 2007. He has been a communications consultant for fifteen years, the last eleven with Brunswick in London. He has a strong track record of advising senior management of Gulf and European businesses on corporate positioning, business launches and IPOs, mergers and acquisitions and the management of major issues. Is thought of as one of the most influential Brits in the UAE.[27]


  • Tim Payne, senior partner, head of Asia and Hong Kong. He has been with Brunswick for 11 years, working in London, New York and Hong Kong. Before joining Brunswick, he was a campaign director of the UK Liberal Democrat Party, running many of their parliamentary campaigns and by-elections.


  • Bill Pendergast, partner, Dallas. Former executive at FleishmanHillard and vice president at Ketchum. Pendergast's expertise is in corporate reputation, crisis communications and the telecommunications sector, along with senior agency leadership experience.[28]
  • Aman Battish, director, San Fransisco. Former vice president at APCO Worldwide.
  • Antonio Ortolani, director, New York. Previously worked for Edelman and Weber Shandwick.
  • Erik Hotmire, director, Washington DC. Worked as senior adviser to the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Special Assistant to the President and a White House and Senate spokesman.[29]
  • Julie Andreeff Jensen, partner, Washington DC. Led successful political public affair campaigns including President Obama's 2008 victory and Senator John Kerry's 2004 Iowa Caucus win.[30]
  • Nick Lovegrove, US managing partner, New York. Former senior advisor to the UK Prime Minister's strategy unit in 10 Downing Street in 2001.[31]

Former staff

Former state department spokesman James Rubin was hired in a blaze of publicity by top financial PR firm Brunswick some time ago. That gave founder Alan Parker the right to brag that he had bagged one half of the world's most glamorous 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. [34]
  • Andy Browne from the Wall Street Journal (Asia) to work in Brunswick's Beijing office
  • Michael Lever, now at the Association for Financial Markets
  • Gregory Barker, now Minister of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change was appointed an associate director at Brunswick in 1997
  • Tim Burt, former FT media editor.
  • Robert Moser, Managing Partner at Merchant
  • Michael Lever, former Partner. Previously at Credit Suisse where he was a Managing Director in Corporate Broking responsible for relationships with several leading financial institutions. Prior to that, he was a banking analyst specialising in the largest UK institutions and was head of banking research teams at several major investment banks including Credit Suisse and HSBC. Prior to entering stockbroking Michael spent nine years at the Bank of England primarily in Banking Supervision and as Deputy Group Leader of a team responsible for briefing the UK delegations to the IMF and World Bank.
  • Catherine Colloms. Prior to joining Brunswick, Catherine was a senior Diplomat with the Foreign Office. Her eight year tenure included roles as Ministerial speech writer for Douglas Alexander and [[Geoff Hoon], Political Advisor to the High Representative for Bosnia, Lord Ashdown, and coordinating part of the UK government's humanitarian response to September 11th. She specialises in crisis management, corporate reputation and advises on transactions, financial and public affairs issues.
  • Jonathan Rhodes, former partner, London. Former Shadow Cabinet special adviser for the Labour Party, during the four years up to the '97 Election. After the election, he joined PolyGram. He specialises in corporate communications, public affairs, and regulatory PR. Joined British Growth Fund (BGF) in 2011.
  • Graeme Trayner, former Partner leading the group's opinion research practice. His roots lie in political campaign research, having worked closely with Labour Party pollsters Deborah Mattinson and Philip Gould.[2] Now at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
  • Andrew Hood. In 2002, Hood left his role as special adviser to the Labour Party in "controversial circumstances" by becoming a senior partner at Brunswick.[35] PR Week reported that Hood was "poached" from his role at the Ministry of Defence, potentially leading to a conflict of interest "as Brunswick clients include Rolls-Royce and Smiths Industries, which both supply to the defence sector indirectly".[36]


Brunswick are reluctant to advertise client details, and do not publish a list of clients. However, it's known that they represent firms below:

Financial sector

Environmental /Energy/ Infrastructure

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project
  • In February 2009, Brunswick won the retained financial comms account with the Drax Group, which operates the UK's largest coal-fired power station. The account is understood to be worth in excess of six-figures.[40]
  • EDF, the nuclear energy group. The Evening Standard noted in Jan 2008 how EDF's lobbying ties might help its case for new nuclear build in the UK: “EDF Energy is doing the Government's bidding and wants to build four new nuclear power stations in the UK. As City Spy reported, the EDF director on the nuclear side is Andrew Brown, brother of Gordon. Who do EDF use as their PR advisers? Brunswick. And where has Brunswick's CEO Stephen Carter gone? Gordon Brown's office. And who is Gordon Brown godfather to? The son of Alan Parker, the boss of Brunswick.”[41]
  • British Airways
  • Blue Circle
  • Anglo American mining giant have their UK financial PR account with Brunswick on a long term basis, except between Dec 2007 and Nov 2009, when they moved to Financial Dynamics due to a perceived conflict of interest while Brunswick were also advising BHP Billiton[42].
  • BHP Billiton[43]
  • Cuadrilla - circa June 2012. Joe Shipley and Emma Walsh listed as media contacts.
  • Brunswick previously worked with former BP CEO Lord Browne, 'with founder Alan Parker personally advising Browne during his resignation from the oil giant after the publication of details concerning his personal life' according to PR Week. Brunswick partners Andrew Mitchell and Robin Wrench handled comms for Browne's Riverstone Holdings, when it floated investment company Riverstone Energy in October 2013 [44]



When businessman Charles Koppel planned to move Wimbledon Football Club to a new bigger venue in Milton Keynes the fans were infuriated and started to boycott the club. The Wimbledon Independent Supporters Assocation noted that “Mr Koppel’s reaction to the fans demands for a return to the club’s former ground at Plough Lane was to try to mobilise a few local residents into support for the Milton Keynes extravagance. A press statement by these residents rather lost its impact when all media enquiries were referred to Brunswick Public Relations, the PR firm employed by Mr Koppel.”[47]


Previous clients / projects

  • 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. [50]
  • 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. [51]

Contact details

Map of Brunswick office
16 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3ED

External links


  1. TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES: Brunswick -- bashful but still bullish, PR Week, 24 April 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Brunswick's website, accessed March 2009
  3. [ CFO Europe, 7 March 2006
  4. Alan Parker profile, Guardian, 14 July 2008
  5. Alan Parker profile, Guardian, 14 July 2008
  6. Where the party got its money from, Guardian 9 sept 2001
  7. 'Staff for favours' row hits Treasury, Guardian, 25 June 2000
  8. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p6, accessed 23.09.10
  9. Robert Peston, Who Runs Britain?, Hodder & Stoughton, 2008
  10. Michie D., 1997, " The Invisible Persuaders: How Britain's Spin Doctors Manipulate the Media", p.26
  11. CITY DIARY, Independent, Nov 2, 1995
  12. City Diary, Guardian, 13 February 2001
  13. Companies House 363s Annual Return for Brunswick Public Relations Limited, 18 June 1997
  14. Cantos
  15. The Lincoln Centre
  16. Merchant
  17. 17.0 17.1 Salamander Davoudi Brunswick to release equity for partners Financial Times, 4 July 2011, accessed 20 October 2014
  18. Andrew Porter, Brunswick website, accessed 28 May 2012
  19. PR king Alan Parker, the No 10 favourite The Telegraph, 4 Apr 2008, accessed 20 October 2014
  20. Sir Nigel Sheinwald profile Brunswick Group, accessed 20 October 2014
  21. Stuart Hudson Linkedin, accessed 20 October 2014
  22. Fiona Micallef-Eynaud Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  23. Richard Jacques Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  24. Richard Meredith Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  25. Azhar Khan Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  26. Brunswick Group, People, accessed 8 September 2014
  27. Top 50 most influential Brits in the UAE Arabian Business, accessed 20 October 2014
  28. Bill Pendergast Joins Brunswick Group as Partner in Dallas Business Wire, 20 June 2013, accessed 20 October 2014
  29. Erik Hotmire Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  30. Julie Andreef Jensen Brunswick Group, accessed 7 January 2015
  31. Nick Lovegrove Brunswick, accessed 7 January 2015
  32. Khidr Suleman Former Brunswick executive and Sun editor David Yelland opens advisory agency PR Week, 6 May 2015, accessed 6 May 2015.
  33. Alan Parker Guardian, 12 July 2004
  34. Media diary, 'Parker feels the rub as star signing quits', Observer Business Pages, Pg. 7, 25 April 2004.
  35. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p6, accessed 23.09.10
  36. Staff writers, "Brunswick poaches MoD's top adviser", PR Week UK, 24.05.02, accessed 23.09.10
  37. Banking industry Insider's Guide: UK banks' reputation managers, PR Week, 03-Oct-08
  38. Banking industry Insider's Guide: UK banks' reputation managers, PR Week, 03-Oct-08
  39. PR Week, 20 Jan 2009
  40. Brunswick scoops Drax brief, PR Week, 25 Feb 2009
  41. Evening Standard, “Keeping It In The (Nuclear) Family”, January 16, 2008, p34
  42. Alec Mattinson,PR Week, November 20, 2009 Anglo American hands UK account back to Brunswick Accessed 14/07/10
  43. Alec Mattinson,PR Week, November 20, 2009 Anglo American hands UK account back to Brunswick Accessed 14/07/10
  44. Alec Mattinson, Brunswick backs float of Lord Browne's Riverstone energy fund, PR Week, 25 September 2013, acc 2 February 2014
  45. Media Guardian, 5 December 2006
  46. [1], accessed Sept 2014
  47. Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association], accessed March 2009
  48. Alec Mattinson Just Eat to use Brunswick for London float PR Week, 17 March 2014, accessed 8 September 2014
  49. Diana Bradley Brunswick aiding Burger King with PR for Tim Hortons deal, 15 August 2014, accessed 8 Sept 2014
  50. Sheldon Rampton Makeover for Martha Stewart PR Watch, 1 July 2002, accessed 10 March 2015
  51. PR Week"
  52. Hutchison to limit its Global Crossing role to get bid OK Taipei Times, 3 March 2003, accessed 10 March 2015
  53. Company News Feed formerly Regulatory News Service, 23 January 2007
  54. [2]
  55. [3]