HONG KONG — Grace Zhang has departed Newgate to become the first Asia MD of AMO Global, the Havas-backed corporate and financial PR network that includes such firms as Maitland, Abernathy MacGregor, First House and Porda Havas.

Zhang leaves Newgate after seven years with the financial PR firm, where she was managing partner and head of China, based in Shanghai. She is the second senior figure to leave Newgate recently, following the exit of Greater China chief Richard Barton, who has moved to Finsbury.

At AMO, Zhang will split her time between Shanghai and Hong Kong, and takes on responsibility for driving the network’s expansion across Asia. Her hire comes as Havas steps up investment in the network, which recently acquired UK public affairs powerhouse Cicero.

Zhang will be directly employed by Havas PR Hong Kong, rather than Porda Havas,  and reports into the AMO board, of which she is a member. She will work with AMO agency heads in the region to identify new business and marketing initiatives, but their reporting lines do not change.

“AMO is already a strong player in the Asian region thanks to the performance of Porda Havas/AMO, based in Hong Kong, and Ashton/AMO in Tokyo," said AMO chairman Angus Maitland. "Today, the network is very pleased to appoint Grace to a newly created key position as our regional managing director as part of its broader strategic effort to build on its success there. Grace's experience, skill and determination will be decisive assets as we move forward there."

Zhang joined Newgate from Kreab Gavin Anderson, where she spent three years in Hong Kong.