LONDON—Matt Owen has joined Burson-Marsteller as practice chair of the brand communications practice.  Owen joins B-M from Direct Line Group where he held a number of senior communications positions, from 2007, most recently as head of media campaigns, a role in which he integrated PR and marketing activities for the Direct Line, Churchill and Green Flag insurance brands. 

LISBON—Burson-Marsteller has signed an exclusive partnership agreement in Portugal with Y&R PR, the public relations agency of Y&R Group Portugal. Y&R PR specializes in public relations and communications and also provides lobbying, public affairs and crisis communications services to a broad range of sectors, from food and beverage to the financial industry, and clients including private and public companies and trade associations. Y&R replaces Lift Consulting, Burson’s Portuguese partner since 2008.

STOCKHOLM—Swedish PR agency Narva is launching a PR network called Narva Nordic that will seek to compete with international networks. Narva Nordic will focus on corporate PR, financial communications, public affairs, and life sciences. Scandinavia is one of the most dynamic and affluent areas of the world, with a combined population of 25 million people—expected to reach 28 million by 2050—and the new network will provide access to the markets of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

LONDON—Absolute Software, a leader in persistent endpoint security and management solutions for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, has appointed Brands2Life as its key communications partner in Europe. The firm will accelerate awareness of mobile device management among business decision makers, through a retained integrated PR and digital brief. Brands2Life will be the European lead agency, working with PR-COM from Brands2Life’s international Oriella PR Network in the DACH region.

PARIS—Siemens France has appointed Frederick Jeske-Schoenhoven to the executive committee role of company secretary and director of strategic projects and public affairs. Jeske-Schoenhoven joined Siemens as chief of staff for group CEO Peter Loescher in 2012 after holding positions at the French ministry of finance, the IMF and World Bank.

LONDON—Global social media agency We Are Social has been appointed by electronics giant Panasonic to create a series of major social media campaigns, including the support of product launches and existing above-the-line activity. The agency has already managed a socially-led campaign to support the launch of Panasonic's Lumix TZ40 camera, designed for people who like to travel.

MOSCOW—Buman Media, an integrated communications agency, will provide strategic planning, content development and media relations support for Schott, an multinational, technology based group developing and manufacturing special glass, specialty materials, components and systems for more than 125 years.

LONDON—Otto Communications & PR has hired consumer technology and gaming specialist Andy Gray as senior consultant. Gray, who was previously global communications manager at gaming company Codemasters, overseeing the developer's Formula One video game franchise, will support recent and future client growth in the consumer technology space.

CAIRO—Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has promoted Hibba Bilal to the position of director of public relations for Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, in addition to her current position as director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence. Bilal is a Four Seasons veteran who in 2004 headed the public relations team at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.

FRANKFURT—Oliver Rosenthal, previously managing director of OgilvyOne, has joined A&B One, focused on digital brand communications and customer loyalty programs.