Rival buys financial PR agency

The Dubai operation of financial PR agency Citigate has been bought by rival firm Financial Dynamics, Campaign can reveal. FD, which already has an office in Bahrain, claims the acquisition from the UK’s Huntsworth Group will help it become a leader in business communications across the Gulf region.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  June 4, 2006

The Dubai operation of financial PR agency Citigate has been bought by rival firm Financial Dynamics, Campaign can reveal. FD, which already has an office in Bahrain, claims the acquisition from the UK’s Huntsworth Group will help it become a leader in business communications across the Gulf region. It comes at a time when greater attention is being given to financial PR after stock markets across the Middle East started to drop. As a result of the acquisition, FD will take on the rebranded agency’s clients, which include Mellon Global Investments, Invesco, Forsyth Partners, Lloyds TSB and Dubai Sports City. Citigate in Dubai was founded in 2003 by John Hobday, who now becomes managing director of FD in the Gulf. Senior Citigate staffers Manash Bhuyan and Liz Fox become FD vice-presidents. Hobday said: “FD has invested considerable time and resources building its brand in the Gulf region in recent years and we are enormously excited to be joining the team and working with our new colleagues both here in the Gulf and elsewhere around the world. “The thing with Citigate is that each office reported into the parent company, so it wasn’t like we were one company. With this I report into London. I report into Financial Dynamics, not a parent company. It is one brand, one company. That’s a really good thing for us because we want to work on big deals and London and New York are becoming increasingly important.” Hobday added that the company had plans to expand into other markets, such as Doha and Kuwait, within a “reasonable” time frame. FD group CEO Charles Watson said: “The Gulf region is currently one of the most exciting communications markets in the world and FD has been committed to building its brand there since we opened for business in Bahrain in 2003.” P Meanwhile, Huntsworth has selected Dubai-based PR agency Momentum to be an affiliate for the communications group in the Middle East. Huntsworth said that its tie-up with Momentum had been made as a result of “increasing demand” for services from its international network of agencies, which includes Grayling, Harrison Cowley and the Red Consultancy.

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