Portland hires City PR veteran Steffan Williams for fresh financial push
The arrival of Williams comes three years after Portland's last foray into financial PR.
Portland is making a major push into financial communications with the hire of PRCA chairman and former Finsbury partner Steffan Williams.
The City PR veteran will head a new financial communications practice at Tim Allan’s agency. Explaining the move, Portland managing director Mark Flanagan told PAN: “Business transactions are now contested political environments, in which financials alone are no longer enough. Any major deal now needs to tell a positive story about corporate behaviour, livelihoods and UK plc. All this plays to Portland’s strengths in understanding politics and the media."
The new practice will sit within the agency’s corporate group which consists of 75 consultants, he added.
Since it was established by Allan in 2001, Portland has largely operated as a public affairs and corporate communications consultancy but in 2015 the agency hired financial communications specialist Louise Mason as a partner. At the time then UK managing director Oliver Pauley heralded the hire, stating: "She has a wealth of transactional and financial PR/ IR experience built over 10 years in financial communications in the City. Her networks and reputation are a great addition to Portland.” A year later, Mason joined Citigate Dewe Rogerson as a director in its financial team.
Williams is widely recognised as a major heavyweight in the financial and corporate PR worlds. He was most recently CEO at Porta Communications, owner of public affairs and corporate comms shop Newgate. Before joining Porta, he was a partner at Roland’s Rudd’s City PR and lobbying shop Finsbury. He also built and ran Capital MSL before selling it to Publicis in 2013. He has been chairman of the PRCA since 2016.
"When I looked around the market it rapidly became clear that Portland offers a multi-stakeholder approach backed by a collaborative approach and a passion for excellence that marks it out from the competition,” he said in a statement on his move.