HONG KONG — Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) has named its local market leaders in Asia-Pacific, following the reverse takeover of Burson-Marsteller by Cohn & Wolfe, which was unveiled in February.

Most significantly, Burson-Marsteller China CEO Ruby Fu's position has been abolished and she will leave the agency, the Holmes Report can reveal. Fu led B-M in China for more than two years, but BCW's China presence will now be overseen by market leaders in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, reporting directly to BCW Asia-Pacific president Matt Stafford.

In Beijing, B-M market leader Hong Qu takes charge, while Shanghai will be led by former Cohn & Wolfe MD Tiffany Bai. Guangzhou will be overseen by Cyrus Yeung, previously associate MD for Cohn & Wolfe.

The other market leadership appointments are as expected, reflecting the relative strengths of the two networks. No combined leadership is named for India, where the two agencies will continue to exist separately until the earn-out from Cohn & Wolfe's acquisition of Six Degrees completes. 

In Hong Kong, former B-M market head George Godsal becomes market leader. Singapore, once a B-M stronghold but now a much smaller operation without a market leader comes under the remit of recently-hired Cohn & Wolfe MD Shawn Balakrishnan.
In Indonesia, B-M's Nia Pratiwi becomes market leader, while the same firm supplies the market leader for Japan, Korea and Australia in Shuri Fukunaga, Ihn Chee and Pamela Klioufis, respectively.

Stafford, who previously worked at B-M before joining Cohn & Wolfe in 2016, said that the initial response to the merger has resulted "in a spike in new business."

"We have had a really strong and fast start to the BCW integration in Asia," said Stafford. "Our market leaders – an impressive line-up comprising some of the best talent from both agencies – are now in place, most of our teams have already begun to move into the same office, and we are combining our resources to provide even greater value to our clients."