Omnicom PR Group SG picks MD to align Fleishman, Ketchum and Porter Novelli

Omnicom Public Relations Group (OPRG) has appointed Shafaat Hussain (pictured) as managing director/market leader of its Singapore office. Hussain will report to David Gallagher, president, international.

Hussain’s appointment, effective 1 June 2018, kicks off an integration process that will include consultations with clients, agency teams and other business partners in Singapore. This is with the aim of aligning FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli's systems and processes over the rest of the year. OPRG brings together the three agencies which looks to leverage their collective power to offer greater growth, collaboration and learning opportunities for talent and a wider and deeper base of services and expertise for clients.

In March this year, OPRG revealed that it was integrating the Singapore operations of FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli and Ketchum, a move which affected around 80 to 90 employees across all three agencies in Singapore.

The move also results in a transition management team drawn from the agencies to oversee the integration, reporting to Hussain and Gallagher. The team includes John Bailey, Jon Chin and Tan Lee San from Ketchum; Khoo Yin and Mary Czarnecki from FleishmanHillard; and Kelvyn Foo of Porter Novelli.

Hussain joined FleishmanHillard in 2010 and most recently served as partner and managing director for client service for the agency in Southeast Asia. He has more than 20 years of experience in corporate, technology and lifestyle communications in India and across Asia. Prior to FleishmanHillard, Hussain held a regional role at Text100 Singapore.

Speaking to Marketing earlier, Gallagher confirmed that the move will not result in people cuts, major restructures, or leadership changes. All three agency brands was also said to preserve their identities and distinct operating structures, as integrations affected mainly systems in human resources, IT and real estate. The search for a new lead at the time was still underway.

“Building on the success of our partnership model in France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, we determined that Singapore is a growth market where this strategy could benefit both talent and clients. Hussain is well known among our agencies in Singapore as an experienced leader wholly committed to client service, team work and close collaboration. He’s enthusiastic about the opportunity and we are delighted to have him in this role," Gallagher said.

“Singapore is an important hub for doing business in Asia, and by bringing our teams together here we can create the scale and wide expertise that our clients require. We are already working together on a number of important assignments and the benefits are clear for our clients and people alike,” Hussain said.