Bell Pottinger to acquire Centreground Political Communications

CentregroundBell Pottinger has today completed the acquisition of Centreground Political Communications. This is the first acquisition by Bell Pottinger since its Management Buy Out from Chime Communications plc in June 2012.

Centreground Political Communications was founded by Darren Murphy who spent eight years as a special adviser in Tony Blair’s New Labour government. Darren has built a very successful business providing political and geopolitical advice to a range of UK and International companies and governments.

Lord Bell, Chairman of Bell Pottinger said;

“I am very pleased that Darren and his colleagues have decided to join us, we are an advisory firm and it is important that our range of skills cover all our client’s needs. Our Geopolitical business is growing at a rapid pace. In a world that is facing all sorts of crises and conflicts, a great deal of our work involves conflict resolution – in that we are now uniquely skilled.”

James Henderson, CEO of Bell Pottinger commented;

“Bell Pottinger’s clients will benefit from the addition of a team with an excellent understanding of the workings of government, UK Labour Party politics and the successful strategic planning and execution of election campaigns both in the UK and internationally. Darren and his team will complement our existing team of over 50 consultants providing both domestic UK political strategy and Geopolitical analysis and advice.”

Darren Murphy, CEO of Centreground said;

“The Centreground team is excited by the opportunity to join Bell Pottinger. Bell Pottinger’s domestic and international offer will be strengthened and complemented by our team’s experience of campaigns, communications, politics and government. Insight, strategy and campaigns: these have been at the heart of our business since its inception. We look forward to bringing these skills to Bell Pottinger as part of a full spectrum political communications offer.”

Darren Murphy will take up the post of Chairman of Bell Pottinger’s specialist Geopolitical business unit, working with Managing Director Charles Vivian. Razi Rahman, one of the other founding Directors of Centreground, will become Managing Director of Bell Pottinger’s UK Political specialism, working with Chairman Tim Collins.

The three founding Directors of Centreground are;

Darren Murphy is the chief executive of Centreground Political Communications. He spent eight years as a special adviser in Tony Blair’s New Labour government, including as political communications adviser to the Prime Minister, working inside government as well as on Labour’s successful 1997, 2001 and 2005 campaigns. Since leaving government, he has been a political consultant, specialising in services to governments, advising heads of state and government, party and political leaders in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia on political strategy, elections, campaigns and strategic communications.

Razi Rahman was Assistant Political Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair between 2000 and 2007, advising the Prime Minister on a wide range of party and government matters. Prior to working at Downing Street he was a litigation lawyer. As well as over 20 years of political experience at every level, Razi has advised corporate clients in Europe, Asia and North America.

Adrian McMenamin played senior roles in all three of Tony Blair’s UK general election victories, including running New Labour’s ground-breaking attack and rebuttal taskforce in 1997 and as Chief Press and Broadcasting Officer in 2005. He has also been a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales, and a consultant to various campaigns and parties across Europe, including the SDLP in Northern Ireland and the then-opposition in post-Soviet Georgia. Between 2005 and 2009 he was Head of Campaigns at the CBI before joining an international communications consultancy.