APCO hunts for UK chief as James Acheson-Gray moves on
The agency has seen UK revenues climb by over £1m since since Acheson-Gray took over.
Top London lobbying firm APCO is on the hunt for a UK managing director to take over from James Acheson-Gray.
The senior public affairs operator is leaving after six years, APCO has confirmed. It is not known whether he has a new role lined up.
Before joining APCO in 2012, Acheson-Gray held a number of senior management roles at Grayling. APCO CEO Brad Staples applauded Acheson-Gray for his "defining role in shaping our presence in the UK market".
He added: “James has put the London office at the centre of international business development introducing a number of key clients and building our relationship with them. Under his leadership, our business in London has grown significantly and our performance has improved markedly.”
In 2016, APCO also got Acheson-Gray to highlight the key takeaways from Brexit poll for a film on the agency’s YouTube channel.
Some lobbying figures have suggested that APCO is no longer the big-hitter in public affairs that it was over five years ago. When Acheson-Gray moved to APCO in 2012, the agency had 43 fee-paying public affairs clients on the books in the UK. The latest PRCA public affairs register lists 31 UK clients for whom public services have been provided.
However APCO sources stressed that the agency had seen substantial growth since 2012 with overall UK revenue going up to over £6m. When Acheson-Gray joined it was said to be well under £5m.
APCO sources also confirmed that a search for a replacement for Acheson-Gray was underway “internally and externally”.
During this transition phase, Alex Bigland and Polly Kennedy, deputy managing directors, will assume the roles of interim joint managing directors of the London office.