Edelman Smithfield is our specialist capital markets and financial services communications team based in London. As part of Edelman’s global financial communications and investor relations offering, we apply our expertise in financial markets to support our clients’ engagement with stakeholders on the issues that matter to them.
Our capital markets practice acts for both publicly-listed and privately-owned companies – offering strategic counsel, financial calendar, executive positioning as well as day-to-day media advisory and investor relations. We also work regularly for some of the world’s largest private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds. Thanks to our global reach, we frequently advise on large cross-border transactions and fundraisings as well as domestic deals. We also have an established track record in handling complex, sensitive situations where there are multiple stakeholders to consider. Where specific areas of expertise are required, we will build a client team that draws upon specialisms from within the broader Edelman Corporate Affairs practice – such as political insights from our Public Affairs team, digital campaigning or monitoring capabilities, or counsel from our market-leading Litigation Affairs practice.
Corporate positioning, thought leadership, IP creation, media strategy, reputation management
In a crowded media environment, our financial services practice finds intelligent ways to cut through the noise. We act for asset management groups with combined assets under management in excess of $4trillion. Our experience handling communications in the pensions industry is unparalleled, having advised pension funds, consultants, trustees and corporate sponsors through every possible scenario – including insolvencies, M&A, scheme buyouts and liability management exercises. We also work with a broad range of consumer finance companies, insurers, fintechs and professional services firms. Our approach relies on creating and executing content that resonates through editorial, broadcast and online channels, bringing fresh insights and perspectives on key issues. Our white papers and thought leadership work has influenced policy and industry perception. Operating with Edelman’s global network, we can manage projects seamlessly across borders.
A company’s ability to manage environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) is widely viewed by investors as a proxy for prudent risk management and increasingly impacts on consumer decisions. A company’s ESG strategy must not only address the most material ESG risks but also support its business objectives, driving its long-term sustainable performance and opening up new opportunities. Edelman has two decades experience in measuring companies’ trust and credibility on ESG through our flagship Trust Barometer. We act for investment and ESG fund managers with more than $4 trillion of assets under management as well as some of the world’s largest private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds. Using our proprietary analytical methodology, we measures clients’ ESG performance against their peers, pinpointing the material risks and drivers of trust, value, and impact related to ESG issues; we then devise and execute strategies to address them. We also provide pre-transaction ESG due diligence and post transaction ESG integration counsel to clients.
Chairman of Corporate Affairs and Edelman Smithfield
John has over 30 years of experience advising companies on all aspects of their capital market communications. He is co-founder of Smithfield, which is now Edelman’s wholly owned financial media and investor relations practice in the UK.
John has worked extensively on cross border and domestic M&A and restructuring projects including Vantiv’s $28.8bn merger with Worldpay, CME’s £3.9bn acquisition of Nex Group, Ferrero’s £112m acquisition of Thorntons and Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Euro Disney. He also served as adviser to CNH on its €13bn merger with Fiat Industrial, Scottish & Newcastle on its £7.8bn acquisition by a Carlsberg & Heineken-led consortium, and AkzoNobel on its £8bn acquisition of ICI. John also advised Brookfield Asset Management on its £2.7bn successful hostile takeover of Songbird / Canary Wharf Group, and Mubadala on the stake of a stake in CEPSA. He also served as adviser to Red Football on its high-profile £790m acquisition of Manchester United FC in 2005, and Arsenal FC on its £731m acquisition by Stanley Kroenke’s KSE in 2011.
Additionally, John has also worked on a number of IPOs and spinoffs including, C&W Worldwide from C&W Group (London), TNT Express from Post NL (Amsterdam), and Emaar Malls (Dubai).
He has advised on activism and shareholder disputes including TNT Express, Kirin, Nissan, AkzoNobel and Punch Taverns . He has also advised on special situations in the pensions sector for schemes including AA, Boots, BAA, Co-op G4S, M&S, and Kodak.
John is a graduate of University College London and a guest lecturer on Investor Relations and crisis communications at the London Business School.
Managing Director, Edelman UK
Iain runs Edelman Smithfield, our specialist financial communications team in London. He and his team provide strategic communications counsel to a range of public and private companies in sectors including financial services, real estate, consumer, professional services, leisure, media, healthcare and technology.
The financial services team has particularly deep expertise in asset management, banking, insurance, pensions and private capital.
The Edelman Smithfield capital markets team has extensive experience advising around complex financial transactions, issues and crisis as well as best-in-class day-to-day financial communications.
Iain joined Edelman Smithfield in July 2018 as head of special projects - leading teams that bring together the deep expertise of the firm to advise on transactions, issues and crisis situations. He has also conducted extensive work on areas including thought leadership, executive positioning, creative campaigning, corporate narrative, financial reporting – and strategic media relations.
Iain is the former Business Editor of The Sunday Times, the UK’s top-selling quality newspaper. He spent 18 years working on British newspapers, including more than a decade with The Sunday Times. He was named UK Business Journalist of the Year in 2010 in recognition of his coverage of the financial crisis.
He also spent two years as New York Correspondent for The Sunday Times, covering politics, cultural issues, the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. He covered all aspects of journalism in his career, ranging from conducting celebrity interviews, to covering crises in countries including Venezuela, Cuba and Iceland. He also played a leading role in The Sunday Times’ famous Insight team, working on several high-profile investigations into issues including sports doping at Nike’s Oregon Project complex (which ultimately led to a four-year ban for leading coach Alberto Salazar). He previously worked for The Sunday Telegraph, Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman. His first full-length book The Cryotron Files – the story of the mysterious death of one of America’s early computing pioneers – was published in 2018.
Head of Capital Markets, EMEA
Alex leads Edelman Smithfield's EMEA Capital Markets practice drawing on 20 years' experience in corporate finance and financial communications.
Alex is an experienced board adviser and provides strategic corporate and financial communications advice to companies and investors. He has led and worked on a wide range of complex and high profile situations across the capital markets worldwide, including M&A, restructuring, equity and debt fundraising, and shareholder activism.
In addition to transaction advice, Alex has extensive experience advising companies on their communications and positioning with investors and other stakeholders, complex tax and financial reporting matters, and managing crisis and litigation situations.
Global Chair of Financial Services, Edelman UK
Andrew leads Edelman’s financial services team in London, working within Smithfield – Edelman’s dedicated financial services and capital markets communications boutique. Specialising in the strategic positioning, reputation management and profile raising of both institutional and retail financial businesses, he has 15 years’ experience advising some of the best known companies in the sector.
Anthony Simpson, Senior Advisor, Edelman Smithfield
Anthony Simpson is a Senior Advisor at Edelman. Anthony also serves on the Board of Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, where he chairs the Risk Oversight, Audit and Nominations Committees. Anthony’s most recent executive role was at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he led the Client Portfolio Management teams in London and Hong Kong within Multi-Asset Solutions. Before joining J.P. Morgan in 2015, Anthony held leadership roles for 9 years in the hedge fund industry. Prior to that, Anthony worked at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, where he founded and co-headed the Pension & Insurance Services Group in London. Anthony received an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University.
Director, Capital Markets, Edelman UK
Latika is Director within the Capital Markets team. She has 10 years’ experience in providing financial and corporate communications advice to management teams and communications leaders of across a range of sectors including private equity, financial services, industrials and retail. She also has significant experience in crisis communications, corporate positioning and M&A communications.
Director, Financial Services, Edelman UK
Aidan is a Director at Smithfield, Edelman UK’s dedicated financial services and capital markets division, specialising in corporate communications for financial services companies. Using his in-depth knowledge of issues effecting UK business and financial regulation, as well as his strong media connections with target press and thought leadership experience, Aidan helps financial and professional services companies to create platforms to generate differentiation and impact and advises businesses on positioning around issues as well as identifying themes and topics to develop and own in the media and for broader stakeholders.
Aidan specialises in consumer finance (retail banking, mortgages, insurance, price comparison), professional services, pensions and asset management.
Aidan has over 10 years’ experience in financial and professional services communications. He joined the team in 2008, and then re-joined in 2012, using the interim period to study for a Masters and PhD in History.
Director, Financial Services, Edelman UK
Ged joined Smithfield in 2011 and has over 15 years of corporate and financial PR experience. During his career, Ged has advised a wide range of clients on their communications including on a variety of regulatory, transactional and crisis situations, both in the UK and abroad.
As part of the financial services and real estate teams at Smithfield, Ged offers strategic corporate communications advice to a range of clients.
Director, Edelman UK
Olivia has over eight years experience in Financial PR and Corporate Communications, having joined Smithfield in 2008 in the Mid and Small Cap team, and moving onto the corporate team in October 2009. Olivia has a wealth of experience and strong credentials within the personal finance, consumer and asset management space. As a result, Olivia works closely with the investment, personal finance, broadcast and consumer affairs media. Olivia has completed the Investor Relations Society qualification and is an English Literature Graduate from Newcastle University.