BRUSSELS — Two of Europe's leading industry players — Herbert Heitmann and Jeremy Galbraith — are joining forces to launch a new consultancy that aims to combine business strategy and communications advice, the Holmes Report can reveal. 

Heitmann, who previously led global communications for Bayer, Shell and SAP, and former Burson-Marsteller EMEA CEO Galbraith are joined by ex-MEP Michiel van Hulten for the launch of 'boldT'.

The new consultancy comes after Galbraith stepped down from a 20-year career with Burson-Marsteller earlier this year. Heitmann, meanwhile, left Bayer in 2016 after lengthy stints as Shell's external communications EVP and, before that, SAP's CCO.

"Taking another CCO job, after SAP, Shell and Bayer would have again limited my contribution to a single organisation," said Heitmann. "Only when business strategy and communications strategy go hand-in-hand can market, brand and reputational value be maximised. We will help deliver that value. That is our promise."

Heitmann will serve as chairman of boldT, while Galbraith is managing partner. Van Hulten, who worked for Galbraith at Burson-Marsteller as MD of the Brussels government relations team after his MEP term, is named founding partner, leading the firm's policy, political risk and public affairs work.

Both Galbraith and van Hulten are based in Brussels while Heitmann remains located in Cologne. The firm intends to expand its services considerable in early 2018, adding more partners, staff and locations in Europe.

"We are about transformational change and that is what inspires and excites us; transformation of an industry, a business or organisation and the way our clients communicate and engage," added Galbraith.

"And we will do what management consultancies do: use our own methodologies consistently across the consultancy to ensure the ideas, creativity, approach and solutions we offer will always be those of the partnership as a whole - not an individual client lead - and that this leads to tangible business results."