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Four Communications announces John Farrell as chairman

BGF News 10.18.2015

Independent integrated agency Four Communications Group (Four) today announced that it has appointed John Farrell, former President and CEO of Publicis Groupe Specialised Agencies and Marketing Services (SAMS), as its new chairman.

The appointment comes at a significant time for the agency. In July 2015 Four successfully secured a £10m investment of equity finance from BGF (Business Growth Fund), the UK’s most active provider of growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses. Since then the agency has acquired leading financial and professional services public relations agency Broadgate Mainland and Welsh design and public relations agency Francis Balsom Associates, bringing the Group’s projected fee income to more than £20 million in 2015.

With a career spanning more than 20 years, John is an expert in marketing, communications and advertising. Prior to his position at the Publicis Groupe, he was president and CEO of D’Arcy Worldwide, one of the top ten global advertising and communication networks. He is currently serving in non-executive positions for several advertising, media, marketing services and retail businesses including Albion, DWA, Adjust Your Set, Octopus, Cognifide and Acceleration, and provides consultancy services to organisations such as The European Golf Tour, Quintessentially and Saatchi & Saatchi.

John succeeds one of the original Four Communications co-founders, Chris O’Donoghue, who after 14 years as Chairman is retiring but remains a significant shareholder in the Group.

Nan Williams, Four Communications group chief executive said: “John’s appointment coincides with a record-breaking year for Four. His expertise, experience and personal qualities will be hugely significant to the future of the business as we surge forward with our ambitious growth plans. We would also like to thank Chris for all of his invaluable knowledge, insight and support since the inception of the agency 14 years ago, and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as a supportive shareholder in the company going forward.”

John Farrell added: “Several things attracted me to Four Communications.  The quality of the leadership team and the level of their ambition to take the business to the next level is really energising.  The culture and quality within the organisation is something you can feel when you walk in – and I believe I can add further to that.  And the belief that the Business Growth Fund has demonstrated in the business with its recent significant investment and the inevitable additional growth opportunities that this will fuel, makes it an incredibly exciting time for me to step in as chairman and help the business fulfil its potential. It’s a great business with great growth prospects!”

In addition to its London headquarters, Four also has offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It employs some 250 staff and has more than 600 clients including Etihad Airways, The Man Booker Prizes, Sotheby’s International Realty, InterContinental Hotels Group and American Express.  Its key services include public relations, public affairs, marketing, sponsorship, digital & content and media planning & buying with a particular focus on the property, travel, culture, healthcare, financial services and public sectors.