Fitch is looking to boost its corporate and brand identity offer with the appointment of John Mathers, currently client services director at Enterprise IG London. The move is fuelled by the current boom in mergers and acquisitions, says Fitch group vice-president Jean-FranÃ§ois Benz.
Mathers is set to join the Lighthouse-owned global group in April and will sit on the European operating board.
He was unable to comment on the appointment, but Benz predicts that “very quickly” there will be a London-based team of ten to 15 people to help him build the group’s identity and branding business.
“We will put people around John who are able to interface with clients at a strategic level,” says Benz. Fitch already undertakes identity work, but it is usually on the back of other client projects, he adds.
Enterprise IG London chief executive officer Dave Allen is not planning a straight replacement for Mathers. However, his departure coincides with an announcement that Patrick Smith has been promoted from director, sales and marketing to managing director of the WPP Group identity arm.
Smith, who joined Enterprise IG three years ago, replaces Charles Trevail, who was poached by rival group FutureBrand last year to head up its business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (DW 25 June 1999).
When Trevail left, Allen said he was in no hurry to replace him and that a natural leader for London would emerge “within six months”. At the time, sources close to Enterprise IG suggested the contest for managing director was between Mathers and Smith, but Allen says there is no connection between Smith’s promotion and Mathers’ departure.
Fitch plans to make further senior appointments in London soon, according to group vice-president Jean-FranÃ§ois Benz. These include someone “on the retail side”, says Benz and staff to address the German market.