LONDON — Hera Communication Strategies, the corporate and financial specialist launched a year ago by former Newgate associate partner Anna Geffert, has appointed its first director of public affairs.

Lynda Waltho (pictured, right) was the member of parliament for Stourbridge in the last Labour government, and served as parliamentary private secretary in the Northern Ireland Office, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health.

She was also director of communications for the Green Bus Company and until recently, the Midlands regional director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport. Waltho has worked in two other PR agencies, both in Birmingham: as a director of Clearvu Communications and MD of Abbott Barber Communications.

Geffert (pictured, left), who was also at Instinctif for seven years, told PRovoke: “This year the amount of change happening at legislative level has been quite astounding and it’s impacting our business every day as everyone is glued to the news to find out new regulations and its increasingly important for our client base to understand what’s coming down the line and how various pieces of policy are resonating in government, and on top of all that you’ve got Brexit.

“Lynda felt like a natural fit for us – we’ve worked together on and off over the past 10 years and it felt like the right time for her to come on board. She can leverage the work we are already doing, and also bring insights that show clients we are at the forefront of what’s going to be the focus for next year, Brexit being a prime example.”

Waltho said: “The current political situation and fall out from coronavirus regulations, presents challenges but also opportunities for many businesses. I am looking forward to working with Anna and her dynamic agency colleagues as well as engaging with authorities and politicians at all levels to forge new working relationships and promote the interests of Hera’s clients.”

Hera now has a core team of four, including chairman John Wriglesworth, another former Instinctif partner, with another director to be announced early next year. Clients include FTSE 250 bank Close Brothers, a leading UK housebuilder, and a number of public sector and specialist lending firms.