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Ruder Finn Launches Global Reputation & Risk Management Practice; Names Lankester Executive Vice President


Ruder Finn (www.ruderfinn.com), a leading independent global creative and communications agency, today announced the formation of a new Reputation & Risk Management Practice within the firm. The Practice will be led by Charles Lankester, who is promoted to Executive Vice President, Global Reputation & Risk Management. Lankester will be based in Hong Kong and will be tasked with developing the resources, network and capabilities to deliver high-value services to Ruder Finn’s clients.

The new global Practice will focus on developing Ruder Finn’s leadership across four core business areas. These will include predictive analytics (using data to identify client issues at the earliest possible stage), intelligence (understanding why corporations fail and succeed in crisis situations), preparedness (advising clients on every aspect of risk management and crisis avoidance) and precision response (delivering a global “GO” team that can work alongside Ruder Finn clients as they manage their way through emerging or actual high risk/crisis situations). In addition to Lankester’s new role, Executive Vice President Christine Dusek and Director of Connected Communications Robin Grainger will respectively lead Ruder Finn’s United States and European capabilities and serve as senior advisors to clients and colleagues. Collectively, Ruder Finn’s new global Reputation & Risk team will deliver proven crisis, event-driven risk and public strategy experience and bring value to teams across the globe.

Announcing the launch of the new Global Reputation & Risk Management Practice, Ruder Finn CEO, Kathy Bloomgarden, said in New York today, "Reputation risk is a primary issue for all our clients and is accelerated by their increasingly international operations and instant social circulation of news, images and data. Corporations now operate in a real-time response environment and traditional “crisis management” techniques, protocols and practices simply do not work in 2016. Our new Practice will disrupt those outdated models to provide our clients with an enriched, forward-looking digital resource that will help them mitigate and manage reputational risk.

“Ruder Finn’s Reputation & Risk Management Practice will deliver new thinking, counsel and digitally-enabled on-the-ground support to our clients before they need it and when they need it, and we have appointed Charles Lankester to lead this endeavor. Charles has already developed exciting new thinking, products and services for the firm, including the SONAR social media crisis simulation platform which is highly regarded by both clients and colleagues. With a career that encompasses experiences across all regions, Lankester has represented some of the world’s best known corporations and Governments. He is ideally suited to lead and build our new Practice and will bring innovative thinking and a dynamic management style as we build it into a global leadership position,” said Jean-Michel Dumont, Chairman of Ruder Finn Asia.

Lankester added, “With zero divide between new and traditional media, smartphones are the primary news platform, Facebook and Weibo increasingly choose what news we see and reputations are built or lost on alike. In this environment, private and public sector organizations need to ensure they fully understand the evolving threats and opportunities. How can businesses prepare and plan? What lessons can be learned? How concerned should management be? With a badly managed corporate crises causing irreparable financial and reputational damage, we have identified the themes, behaviors and approaches that will work in 2017 and also those that will fail.”