HONG KONG — Newgate has hired James Hill as Greater China managing partner, filling a key role that had been vacant since the departure of Richard Barton earlier this year.

Hill arrives from Sandpiper Communications, which he joined as Hong Kong GM in 2018, prior to last year's MBO from MHP. He previously spent five years with Finsbury after helping to launch the firm's Asian presence in 2011.

As managing partner, Hill will oversee Newgate's expansion in Greater China and work with colleagues in the Asia-Pacific region to expand the firm’s pan-regional client base. He reports to SEC Newgate global deputy CEO and Australia managing partner Brian Tyson.

“The team in Hong Kong has always been a great asset to the agency," said Tyson. "Its client base and team expertise places it amongst the best in the industry in Asia Pacific. With James on board, we look forward to a period of expansion in the region."

In addition to Barton, Newgate also parted ways with managing partner and China head Grace Zhang this year, who left for AMO. The firm merged with Italy's SEC 12 months ago, creating a business with 30 offices in 16 countries, including Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

"As China and other Asian economies emerge first from the COVID-19 crisis, corporate leaders and disruptors in the region are harnessing communications to support their efforts to rebuild or capture new areas of growth," said Hill. “In the twelve months since merging with SEC, the firm has made impressive progress in building its global footprint, capabilities and team. With the support of the network, I am confident that our Greater China business will make an invaluable contribution to the group’s future growth.”