LONDON — KWT Global has hired Anna Burns as director of business development. She joins the agency from W Communications, where she had led business development for the past three years. Burns has also worked at agencies including Weber Shandwick, Ogilvy and Ketchum.

LONDON — Portland has appointed Tristan Peniston-Bird as senior partner and financial communications lead in its corporate communications practice. He joins from FTI Consulting’s strategic communications practice, responsible for leading its global financial infrastructure segment and advising a variety of clients on privatisations, IPOs and M&A across the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East. Peniston-Bird was previously Velcro Corporation’s chief corporate affairs officer, and before that he led Euroclear’s global marketing and communications. He began his career in institutional investment, in Asia, and has also held senior consultancy roles at Gavin Anderson & Company and Marsh Risk Consulting.

LONDON — Strategic communications and change management consultancy Williams Nicolson has promoted finance director Monica Sood to chief operating officer. Before joining the agency in 2021, Sood held senior finance positions at AXA Investment Managers and Deutsche Bank.

DUBAI — Gambit Communications has made six new hires, following further multinational client wins. The diverse group come from Egypt, UK, Russia, India, Palestine and Syria, including senior English editor Mary Paulose, an Indian ex-journalist who has worked at The National, Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Times of Oman, and The New Indian Express, in addition to lifestyle magazines WKND and Faces Oman. The agency has also made five other account executive appointments.

MANCHESTER — Claire Quansah (pictured), former head of client and business development at B Corp communications agency Social, has set up her own consultancy, Quansah Consulting, to support small and medium-sized communications and creative agencies with operations, processes, people development and marketing to ‘ease the growing pains of fast-growing agencies’. Before joining Social in 2020, Quansah was operations director at Red Havas, where she was client lead for consumer and B2B brands including Greggs, Pets at Home and Sodexo. She is an advisory board member for BME PR Pros and The Blueprint diversity mark, as well as serving as a mentor and tutor for The Xec. leadership scheme.

AMSTERDAM — Cognito Amsterdam has integrated specialist communications consultancy Crisp Communications into its business, with Crisp founder Chris Peters appointed as managing director. Cognito Amsterdam founder and managing partner Richard Neve will move into a newly-created executive creative director role and will continue to chair the board. Peters started his career at Grayling Amsterdam and Dutch agency Glasnost (now part of the Ace Group) as well as working in-house as communications and marketing specialist at payment service provider Payconiq, before founding Crisp three years ago. He will lead a team of 15 PR and marketing professionals in the Amsterdam office and Crisp clients will be integrated into the Cognito operation.

LONDON — Sunny Side Up has appointed Amanda O’Shaughnessy as business development and marketing manager. O’Shaughnessy joins from EssenceMediacom, where she was associate marketing director, and has also worked in marketing and communications roles at agencies including M&C Saatchi Talk. She first worked with the agency in a freelance account director capacity last year.

LONDON — Battenhall has made three senior promotions. Phil Sheard, who has been with the agency for eight years, has been promoted from director of product and innovation to chief innovation officer. In his new role, Sheard will oversee the agency’s tech development and innovation teams, as well as the new Battenhall Insights division, which will be led by Jonny Atter, who has taken on the role of director of insights. Battenhall Insights has launched in response to rising client demand for deep social media data, reporting and analytics, and comprises a global team of more than 20 Battenhall consultants. Atter, who has been with Battenhall for eight years, will spearhead the division’s global growth. At the same time, Rhian Robinson has been named as UK and EMEA managing director, and will build a senior leadership team to help oversee Battenhall's growing UK and international client base. Both Robinson and Sheard will continue reporting into founder and CEO Drew Benvie.

LONDON — Boutique B2B integrated communications agency 3Thinkrs, PRovoke Media’s new agency of the year for 2023, has appointed Oliver Smith to lead its creative and content studio, 3T Labs. Smith will oversee 3T Labs’ creation of content that fulfils marketing and sales teams requirements, and will also lead the agency’s experimentation with generative AI and evolving technology to support its measurement frameworks. Smith brings more than 10 years’ experience in strategic content creation, working with brands such as River Island, Search Laboratory and employee wellbeing and performance pioneer GoodShape.

LONDON — Financial and professional services communications specialist Greentarget has appointed Antonia Phillips as associate director to expand the agency’s digital PR and content offering. Phillips was previously associate director and head of digital PR at Teamspirit, and has also worked at Ketchum.

LONDON — Growth marketing agency Kaizen has appointed Calvin Green as head of client services. Green joins from QueryClick, where he was account director and a member of the management team. Kaizen provides digital PR, SEO, paid media and influencer marketing services across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia and the US. Its client portfolio includes Adidas, Comparethemarket and Lovehoney.

LONDON — Global influencer marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy has appointed Simon Harwood as global performance director. In the newly-created role, he is tasked with building closer working relationships between key functions of the business, including the data, strategy and paid media teams, as well as developing new models to measure and prove effectiveness and working with the agency’s clients and client services teams to plan, develop and launch new products. Harwood joins from independent media agency The7stars, where he was head of strategy, and was also head of creativity and innovation and head of futures at PHD Media.

BELFAST — Planning and development specialist Turley has appointed a new head of strategic communications for the UK & Ireland, to broaden its communication and engagement advisory offer in the built environment sector. John Davison, previously head of strategic communications for Ireland, succeeds Nick Jones, who was promoted to senior director last year. While Jones will continue to champion the value of professional engagement and public affairs, Davison has reorganised the team into three offers to help clients win permission for developments; deepen their insights into communities, shaping better places; and support private and public sector clients to deliver creative communications campaigns. He will be supported by Emma Dickson, who becomes head of strategic communications North.