DUBLIN & BELFAST — Weber Shandwick’s offices in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are to become independent agencies, having been bought out by their local leadership teams, PRovoke has learned.

The Dublin team will be led by current managing director Siobhan Molloy, and the Belfast agency will be led by existing MD Ross Williamson. The terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Both operations will become local partners to Weber Shandwick, and will keep the firm’s name for a transitional period. There is no impact on the teams, which number less than 20 in both cases.

A Weber Shandwick spokesperson told PRovoke: “Our local leadership is acquiring the business from Weber Shandwick to create independent entities. This move will allow these local operations to take advantage of new pathways for growth while continuing to deliver on local client needs as ongoing partners.”

Weber Shandwick’s chief operating officer for EMEA, Jonas Palmqvist, added: “One of Weber Shandwick’s core strengths is the combination of our expansive global network of owned offices with our partnerships around the world – allowing us to serve our clients wherever they are. Our businesses in Dublin and Belfast have delivered valuable solutions for local and multinational clients for many years, in no small part due to Siobhan and Ross’ leadership.

“As independent agencies, their teams will now benefit from additional opportunities for growth while continuing to stay connected to the Weber Shandwick family.”

Molloy said operating as an independent in the Republic of Ireland would “provide us with us with additional opportunities and agility to develop our business in this market while remaining as the Irish partner to the international Weber Shandwick network, which has served us well for the last 20 years.”

She said: “This deal is a win-win for both our clients and staff. We have local autonomy for the business, whilst staying close to our expert colleagues across the Weber Shandwick world. To be able to make this change with the support and partnership of IPG and Weber Shandwick’s senior management team reflects the progressive leadership the company demonstrates every day.

“The demand for clear and effective communications has never been stronger in this unprecedented business environment. As a result, it has been an exceptionally busy period for our Irish agency’s expert strategic communications services and consumer engagement solutions for our portfolio of indigenous and international clients.”

Williamson said the deal was “the best of both worlds” for the Northern Ireland agency: “We can chart our own path but remain local partners of the world’s greatest communications agency. It is a testament to the leadership of Weber Shandwick that we are able to make this move with their full support and continued partnership.

“The ability to take decisions locally and to shape our structure and offering to our local market provides us with a fantastic platform for the future. It also enables us to provide an even greater all-island offering with our colleagues in Dublin.”