LONDON — Marketing services group Stagwell, whose PR agencies include Allison, KWT Global, Hunter and SKDK, is opening a global hub in London and has appointed its first EMEA chief executive.

James Townsend, who is currently the global CEO of Stagwell media agency Assembly, based in New York, steps into the role to support the growth of 16 agency brands in the EMEA region. He will continue to lead Stagwell's Brand Performance Network, a group of creative, media, and commerce agencies.

Stagwell's London office, set to open in late January, will serve as the collaborative hub for more than 750 of the group’s 1,900 employees in the EMEA region.

The move comes after Stagwell's Q3 earnings showed the company's EMEA operations played a pivotal role in sustaining its 25% overall international revenue, with 30% of that attributable to the region.

Stagwell chairman and CEO Mark Penn said: “We’ve taken steps over the past few years to expand and grow our operation across EMEA, and we’re pleased to accelerate our investment in the region with James Townsend at the helm.”

Townsend added: “After five extraordinary years in New York, I look forward to returning to London and supporting Stagwell's EMEA expansion. Throughout the region, we see that clients are seeking strategic partners to support their transformation and growth agendas. With collective capabilities spanning consumer research, media, data, technology, creative, and digital transformation, Stagwell presents a modern alternative to legacy holding companies.”