LONDON — Grayling has consolidated its leadership across Europe, promoting UK & Ireland leads Sarah Scholefield and Richard Jukes to CEO and chairman of its UK and European offices, respectively.

The new regional leadership structure follows the departure of former Continental Europe CEO Jan Simunek earlier this year, after 23 years with the firm.

The Huntsworth group agency – which has nine offices in the UK and operates in 16 other European markets, with a total headcount of around 400 – said the move would lead to better integration and collaboration between offices and practices across the region.

Huntsworth CEO Paul Taaffe said: “Sarah and Richard have a proven track record in the UK of driving growth and change to meet the ever-evolving needs of clients and I am delighted that they will bring this experience to all of our Grayling European offices.”

Jukes said that the move, coming at a time of “political change and realignment” in the UK and Europe, would reinforce Grayling’s public affairs network and create “a significant opportunity to extend our services further, becoming an integrated issues, corporate advisory and brand reputation partner for clients.”

Scholefield added: “Bringing continental Europe and the UK under one structure and united leadership reinforces our determination to share best practice and insights from across the region to the benefit of our clients and our staff. We already work closely with our European colleagues on a number of clients and in multiple markets and I look forward to continuing that close collaboration.”

Grayling was named as the Holmes Report’s EMEA public affairs agency of the year for 2019.