Hydra Strategy moves into public affairs with signing of Neil Stockley
The former Lib Dem policy chief joins the 'senior-only' agency as a partner.
Corporate and financial PR specialist Hydra Strategy has signed up the experienced lobbyist Neil Stockley as the agency takes its first step into public affairs.
Stockley is a former director of policy for the Liberal Democrats in the late 1990s. He went on to spend a decade as a director in Bell Pottinger’s public affairs practice. More recently he has been a director at MHP Communications and an associate at Lodestone Communications.
Hydra Strategy was established in 2017 by Stephen Benzikie, a former managing director of Bell Pottinger corporate & financial, who has also led Edelman’s financial practice. The Mayfair-based agency launched with nine partners and offered “board-level advice and senior-only execution across all key areas of corporate comms”.
The capture of Stockley, who is known as an energy specialist and whose clients have included National Grid and various energy retailers, gives a clear idea of the types of public affairs clients that Hydra now hopes to sign up.
Commenting on the appointment, Benzikie said: “Neil is a true heavyweight among public affairs and policy practitioners. The energy and environmental sectors in the UK continue to face significant regulatory challenges and reputational issues, so we are delighted to have Neil on board to lead integrated, strategic communications in this important area.”
In a statement announcing his hire, Stockley said: "Since its formation, Hydra has proved its ability to juggle the very best top-end strategic thinking with hands-on implementation by Partners. I’m very pleased to be joining such an impressive team of communicators and adding a new dimension to the firm’s offering.”