FRANKFURT—German financial communication agency GFD Gesellschaft für Finanzkommunikation has joined IPREX, the global network of communication agencies. Founded in Frankfurt in 1995 and led by managing director Joachim Althof, GFD works exclusively in investor relations and financial public relations and joins two other German agencies in IPREX: m/e brand communication (Düsseldorf) and ORCA Affairs (Berlin).

LONDON—Porter Novelli has named James Chandler as UK head of corporate, reporting to Sally Ward, president, EMEA and managing director, Porter Novelli UK. Prior to joining Porter Novelli, Chandler spent five years with Thames Advisory London, serving as partner and head of corporate affairs. Before that, he spent four years as a director at Weber Shandwick, specializing in cross-practice, multi-regional accounts in the corporate and financial services area.

LONDON—InterContinental Hotels Group has appointed Jayne O’Brien as senior vice president of global brands, responsible for overseeing brand vision and strategy across IHG’s global portfolio of nine brands. During her 18-year career at British Airways, O’Brien served in a number of senior brand marketing and commercial roles. Prior to joining IHG, she served as chief marketing officer for Dubai Properties Group.

MILAN—Assorel, the Italian Association of Public Relations Agencies, has elected Andrea Cornelli of Ketchum Italy as president. In addition, the board will include vice presidents Giorgio Cattaneo (MY PR) and Caterina Tonini (Havas PR Milan), as well as Lucio Bergamaschi (Below Communication & Media Relations), Diego Biasi (Business Press), Paolo Bruschi (Segest), Anita Lissona (Lead Communication), Diego Ricchiuti (GolinHarris Italy), Camillo Ricci (eprcomunicazione), Giovanna Pandini (Noesis), and Filomena Rosato (FiloComunicazione).

LONDON—Neato Robotics, a Silicon Valley-based company founded to create robots that can perform household chores as intelligently as humans, has appointed Honcho PR to handle its European PR campaign. As part of the brand-building brief, Honcho will oversee the launch of a new robotic vacuum cleaning product in the UK and across Europe this Spring. Honcho co-founders Charlotte Priest and Amanda Slayton-Joslin will coordinate a European team that comprises Gen-G in France, ZPR in Germany, and independent consultants in Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

LONDON—Cicero Group has appointed Mark Hemingway as senior communications counsel in its corporate PR practice. Hemingway has more than 30 years of experience in financial services corporate communications, including almost 20 years leading communications for both HSBC and HBOS. Last year he supported the Payments Council through the introduction of its high-profile current account switch service.

OXFORD—Prime Research has appointed Richard Bagnall as chief executive officer of its UK operation, where he will focus on developing the firm’s domestic and international client portfolio from its offices in Oxford. Prior to joining Prime, Bagnall was a founding director of international specialist insights business Metrica, which was sold to Gorkana in 2009, after which Bagnall worked for a further four years as managing director of the global media insights division. He left in 2013.

LONDON—Aspectus PR, the global communications and PR agency, has been appointed by Eagle Alpha, a company that curates the entire web to provide investment and trading intelligence, to manage its media relations across Europe and the US. The appointment follows a successful trial PR project in which Aspectus secured coverage for Eagle Alpha in the likes of Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph and Fox Business.

LONDON—Lynne McDowell has been promoted from her position as senior communications manager at BPI, which represents the British recording industry, to the newly created role of head of public relations. She will take the lead on BPI's public policy communications and greater responsibility for CSR including the BPI's commitment to The Big Music Project. She will report in to director of communications Gennaro Castaldo.

MOSCOW—Buman Media, an integrated communications agency, will provide strategic planning, content development and media relations support for Fluke Corporation, a world leader in the manufacture, distribution and service of electronic test tools, and also for Delta Electronics, a leading company in power management solutions.

LONDON—The PR Network, a virtual public relations agency, has appointed Eileen Boydell, as client services director. Boydell joins the firm to focus on growing its international business and will be responsible for building out a network of associates to meet specific client briefs. Boydell was previously at Bite Communications as head of international relations.

LONDON—CitySavvy's Julian Rea has been promoted to the position of managing director, UK. Rea, who has been a director at the international financial and corporate agency for almost two years, will continue to manage client relationships and accounts while running the day-to-day operations of the London office, including finance and staffing.