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Ruder Finn Acquires SharpeLankester’s Asia-Pacific…


Charles Lankester joins Ruder Finn as SVP, Reputation Management, Asia-Pacific;

Cynthia Wan joins as Director, Hong Kong

Asia – Ruder Finn announced today it has acquired the Asia-Pacific portfolio of SharpeLankester, an international consultancy specialising in reputation management, crisis communications and investor relations. Charles Lankester has been appointed to Ruder Finn’s leadership team in the new role of Senior Vice President, Reputation Management, Asia-Pacific. Lankester, based in Hong Kong, will also be responsible for Ruder Finn’s Hong Kong client service, management and business operations. Joining Lankester as Director, Ruder Finn Hong Kong, is Cynthia Wan, who was most recently Press and Information Officer at the European Union Office for Hong Kong and Macao. Andrew Sharpe, joint founder of SharpeLankester, will pursue his political interests in the United Kingdom and continue to service his client portfolio specialising in financial markets advisory work.

SharpeLankester, established in 2012, recently won the 2014 Holmes Report’s Asia-Pacific New Consultancy of the Year. The firm’s business in Asia evolved rapidly and the next step was to build scale and infrastructure. Joining Ruder Finn is a natural fit for both firms as they are culturally complementary, entrepreneurial and the acquisition will allow both parties to expand and develop.

Jean-Michel Dumont, Chairman, Ruder Finn Asia said, "I am delighted to have Charles as part of Ruder Finn. With more than 20 years’ experience in Asia-Pacific and Europe, at both large and small firms, he brings insight, drive and an entrepreneurial approach which clients increasingly require today. Charles will be building our reputation management capabilities across Asia, including sustainability, risk and crisis management, as well as providing corporate counsel. He has represented some of world’s best known brands and corporations and will add an exciting new dimension to Ruder Finn." "We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Cynthia Wan as Director,Ruder Finn Hong Kong. With a background in journalism, consultancy and, most recently, a senior role at the European Union’s Hong Kong office, she will be a valuable new member of our fast-growing Hong Kong team."

Kathy Bloomgarden, Global CEO, Ruder Finn Inc . said, "The integration of SharpeLankester, and the addition of Charles and Cynthia to our team underpin Ruder Finn’s dynamic momentum. We are continuing our strong double digit global growth, and reinforcing our strength in our leadership areas of corporate reputation and change management, health and wellness, technology and innovation, and digital consumer expertise — both in Asia, and across our global offices. SharpeLankester is a great fit with our dedication to creativity and excellence in global communications strategy."

Charles Lankester said, ‘I have watched Ruder Finn’s growth in Asia and globally with great interest and am delighted to join Jean-Michel and his award-winning team. The firm understands precisely how the marketing and communications world is changing and leads the way in counsel, ideation and implementation. The phrase ‘Creative Edge’ is at the heart of everything they do and it is a privilege to be joining such a talented team. I hope to build on the success the firm has already created, identifying new opportunities and evolving new capabilities.’

Charles Lankester

Prior to founding SharpeLankester, Charles Lankester was the was Global Chairman, Crisis Practice and Regional Managing Director, Asia-Pacific Corporate Practice at Edelman, working with 16 offices across the region. His responsibilities included developing Edelman’s global risk and crisis management capabilities, including expanding the existing cross-border team, developing the firm’s client offering and growing the firm’s existing portfolio of clients and business. Charles had additional management responsibility for Edelman’s Greater China and North Asia operations. Prior to Edelman, he had senior roles with Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy.

Cynthia Wan

From 2011-2014, Cynthia was the Press and Information Officer for the European Union Office for Hong Kong and Macao. Her role at the European Union was to devise diplomatic initiatives to promote EU values and policies in Hong Kong and Macao, maintaining and building media relationships, coordinating senior EU officials’ visits and organising public outreach events. Before the EU, Cynthia was with public affairs consultancy APCO, developing and implementing corporate affairs and media campaigns for private and public sector clients and advising clients on issue management and stakeholder engagement, including government agencies, regulatory authorities and NGOs.


About Ruder Finn, Inc.

Ruder Finn, Inc. is one of the world’s largest independent public relations agencies with dual headquarters in the U.S. and China. Founded in 1948, Ruder Finn serves the global and local communication needs of over 250 corporations, governments and non-profit organizations. The agency is organized around four strategic pillars that reflect its core areas of expertise: Health & Wellness, Corporate & Public Trust, Technology & Innovation, and Consumer Connections. Key offerings include corporate reputation and media counsel, executive thought leadership, financial communications, employee engagement and internal communications, and crisis and issues management. RFI Studios, the agency’s full-service digital practice, leads the industry in designing and developing internal collaboration platforms, building conversations and communities around brands, and staying top-of-mind in the world of mobile applications. In 2013, Ruder Finn won the gold as the Global Agency of the Year (Multinational Practice) at the Bulldog Stars of PR Awards. For more information, visit www.ruderfinn.com.

Ruder Finn Asia

In Asia, Health & Wellness includes Daiichi Sankyo, Galderma, Merck Serono, Roche, Sanofi and Varian. Corporate & Public Trust includes L’Oreal, Michelin, ABB, Boeing, Bosch, Volkswagen, CITIC Bank, Singapore EDB, Omron and Carlsberg. Life+Style includes luxury brands like Cartier and Vacheron Constantin from the Richemont Group, and Moet Hennessy premium brands from the LVMH Group, as well as Herm’s, Bang & Olufsen, Bentley, Breitling, Longchamp, Lexus, Tod’s Group, DFS Group, and the Jumeirah Group. Global Connectivity includes DHL, Emirates, IEEE and Contact Singapore. Those four pillars are supported by award-winning divisions such as RFI (focusing on Interactive, Social Media and ePR), CSR, Arts & Culture, Activation and INSIGHT which provides training as well as research on trends, producing the annual China Luxury Forecast and other publications. For more information on Ruder Finn Asia, please visit www.ruderfinnasia.com, or our Chinese website http://cn.ruderfinnasia.com