LONDON — Edelman has further strengthened its corporate offer with the appointment of Julian Payne to the newly-created role of corporate affairs chair for EMEA.

Payne is currently communications secretary to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and will join Edelman in the spring as an executive director, leading its corporate affairs offer across the region.

Before joining the royal household in 2016, Payne was vice president of global PR and corporate relations for Burberry and before that was director of communications at the BBC.

He began his career at Lynne Franks PR and was later a partner at boutique agency Henry’s House, where his clients included BT, ITV, Honda F1 and Virgin Media.

The appointment follows the agency’s announcement last week that Smithfield MD John Kiely had been made chair of the UK corporate affairs practice, and the hire of Luciana Berger last summer as public affairs MD.

Edelman’s EMEA president and CEO Ed Williams said: “In Julian we have a leader, and communicator of the highest calibre. The breadth of his global experience will be invaluable to our clients across the region as they seek to build trust and successfully navigate a rapidly shifting set of societal expectations.

“He is highly attuned to the reputational challenges that businesses and their leaders face today and has outstanding experience advising high-profile global brands and individuals. This hire reflects our strategy of having our most senior advisers work transversally across the region, not just focused on one market.”

Payne added: “This is a crucial time for so many organisations as they seek to recalibrate their position and approach in a world that is changing in so many ways. To be able to contribute to that process as part of the Edelman team will be a fantastic challenge and great privilege.”