Deane walks out on Weber
EXCLUSIVE: Former aide to Cameron understood to have lined up new consultancy role
Weber Shandwick head of public affairs Alex Deane is preparing to quit the agency and is believed to be joining FTI Consulting.
Public Affairs News understands that Deane has been lined up to take a senior role overseeing public affairs at FTI’s London office. He is expected to work closely with Malcom Gooderham, who joined FTI earlier this year after running corporate and public affairs agency TLG.
Deane did not deny he was joining FTI when approached by Public Affairs News. He said: "I have no comment."
His departure would be a blow to Weber Shandwick, depriving the agency of its best-connected Conservative consultant.
The Tory lobbyist is a former chief of staff to David Cameron during his time as shadow education secretary in 2005. Prior to working for the now prime minister, Deane was chief of staff to Tim Collins, who held the shadow education secretary post before Cameron and is now a director at Bell Pottinger.
Deane joined Weber in September 2011 after a stint in Bell Pottinger’s lobbying practice. A fluent media performer, he is also a regular guest on Sky News' press preview show.
US-based FTI has been keen to boost its lobbying firepower in recent years following a reduction in its UK public affairs capacity.
The firm took control of New Labour lobbying outfit LLM in 2006, when it acquired parent firm FD. However, the LLM name was dropped in 2008 following numerous departures from the previously high-flying agency.
In January this year, the firm acquired TLG. Gooderham, a former aide to Michael Portillo, took up the role of managing director in FTI’s London office.
A FTI spokesperson had no comment.