LONDON — Strategic communications group SEC Newgate has merged its two biggest UK agencies, public affairs firm Newington and financial and corporate agency Newgate, to form one business rebranded as SEC Newgate UK.

At the same time, SEC Newgate is increasing its stake in Newington from 60% to 100%, at a cash cost of £420,799. Newington chief executive Mark Glover becomes chairman of SEC Newgate UK.

Glover (pictured) told PRovoke Media: “We’ve been sister companies for a while and this gives us so many opportunities to reinforce each other’s strengths and cross-sell. We have a really strong track record in public affairs and have developed a strong digital and media relations offer, while consumer, crisis and financial are Newgate’s strengths and there’s very little crossover. It’s a strong marriage and with 130 people across both offices we’re now a sizeable player in the market.”

Glover said the combined agency’s plans for the year ahead were “consolidation and growth,” including developing the research side of the business and further establishing the firm in the US. “We’re integrating all our agencies together into “a true global brand – it’s a destination we’ve been aiming at for a while,” he said.

Emma Kane, chief executive of SEC Newgate UK and deputy group CEO, added: “The marriage of Newgate and Newington creates a fully integrated service across communications, advocacy and research, all under one P&L. Our new brand reflects our strong local roots, global reach and true entrepreneurial spirit. This is great news for our talented team of people and the organisations we partner with as our clients.”

By the end of this year, all agencies across the SEC Newgate group – which has a total staff of around 600 people around the world – will transition to the SEC Newgate brand.

SEC Newgate was formed in 2019 with the merger of Italian public affairs firm SEC and Porta. The group’s other agencies include Publicasity in the UK – which Glover said would keep its brand for the time being – Engage Communications in Australia, Cambre in Belgium, ACH in Spain, Clai in France and Martis Consulting in Poland.

In Germany, the firm owns Kohl PR and at the end of last year acquired a majority stake in Berlin-based corporate and pubic affairs firm Orca Affairs.

Last summer, the group made its first foray into North America by forming a joint venture with Bellwether Strategies.

Group chief executive Fiorenzo Tagliabue said: “SEC Newgate is already a top 30 global communications group and clients are increasingly working with many of our agencies across multiple jurisdictions.  We now feel it is time to simplify our story and operate under one brand whilst ensuring that we retain the entrepreneurial spirit and domestic insights that are the hallmarks of our success.”