FleishmanHillard has "phased out" its Kuala Lumpur office, Shafaat Hussain (pictured), managing director for client service at FleishmanHillard Southeast Asia told A+M in a statement.
According to Hussain, the move was done in late 2017 as "demands in the market at the time did not sustain a full-service presence". Hussain oversaw FleishmanHillard's Malaysian operations after former general manager Magdalene Lee left in early 2017. Under his leadership, the five full-time staff in Malaysia served local and network clients on a project basis, including Huawei and Philips Lighting.
"We continue to support our clients in Malaysia enlisting our breadth of resources in Singapore and local affiliate capabilities," Hussain told A+M. He added that the agency is expanding at a "double-digit" growth rate this year in Southeast Asia, with fully owned offices in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
"As announced earlier this year, our plans for a combined Omnicom Public Relations Group (OPRG) hub in Singapore are well on track. We are excited to come together as of 1 January, 2019 as one of the largest players in the market providing a wider and deeper set of services and expertise to our clients and even more opportunities for growth, collaboration and learning for our teams," he said.
The combined OPRG hub comprises FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli and Ketchum. The move affects around 80 to 90 employees across all three agencies in Singapore, and Hussain was appointed as managing director/market leader of its Singapore office. All three agency brands will preserve their identities and distinct operating structures. Integrations will affect mainly systems in human resources, IT and real estate.
During her time at FleishmanHillard, Lee focused on managing integrated campaigns combining public relations, brand marketing, social and digital across media platforms during her time at the agency.