BRUSSELS — Edelman has appointed a new CEO to lead its Brussels operation, hiring Stefan Borst from economic intelligence, global advocacy, and cybersecurity firm Avisa Partners.

Borst succeeds Gurpreet Brar, who moves to the post of chief operating officer in Edelman’s global public affairs team and to lead some of the agency’s largest global clients.

At Avisa, Borst was a partner, responsible for the firm’s public affairs business, advising business leaders, international trade bodies and investment funds on EU affairs.

He previously founded IDA Group, a boutique political communications, public affairs and trade consultancy, which was bought by Avisa in 2019. Until 2021, Stefan also advised the CEO and board of the specialty chemicals company Lanxess on EU matters. He began his career as a journalist, including as EU correspondent for Focus Magazine, one of Germany’s largest weeklies.

Edelman EMEA president and CEO Ed Williams said the firm’s Brussels operation had seen double digit growth year-on-year for the past four years, and had grown its public affairs work in the health, sustainability, and food and nutrition sectors.

Williams said: “Recovering from Covid, tackling climate change, addressing societal inequalities, and charting a path for effective technology regulation are critical tasks for government and business alike. It means that European politics and regulatory affairs couldn’t be more important. Edelman Brussels has established itself as a trusted partner to our clients and Stefan’s deep sector knowledge and EU experience, will ensure that we remain at the forefront of helping businesses navigate the ever-evolving Brussels legislative agenda.”

Borst added: “I am thrilled to be joining Edelman and the great team in Brussels at a unique point in time. The EU has put forward a massive legislative agenda for the coming years. The European Green Deal alone will be a game changer for businesses of all sectors. I will leverage my experience and knowledge to ensure the success of our client’s interest in Brussels, expand our reach into new sectors and lead the EU business of Edelman into its next phase of growth.”