Australian public affairs firms Government Relations Australia and Cosway Communications Counsel have struck a merger deal to create GRACosway from July 1.
The majority shareholder and advertising company Clemenger Group will take take full ownership of the new entity. The enlarged company willl merge two public relations and public affairs services under one roof: public policy and government affairs with corporate finance.
GRA is a bipartisan strategic advisory firm led by managing director Les Timar. Cosway Communications Counsel, overseen by managing partner Ben Wilson, has been involved in more than $100 billion worth of financial transactions over the last decade.
Timar will take charge of the new firm, which is being organised into two groups: Public Affairs and Corporate & Financial Communications.
Cosway’s founding partners Mark Rudder and John Frey will continue in their existing roles, with Ben Wilson leading corporate & financial communications.
Two former senior government ministers, Liberal Party member Helen Coonan and Labor Party member John Dawkins, will co-chair GRACosway.
Coonan was communications minister for three years from 2004, while Dawkins was Paul Keating’s treasurer in the early 1990s.
Robert Morgan, executive chairman of Clemenger Group, the largest ad and marketing communications group in Australia and New Zealand, said the merger would enable GRACosway to offer clients greater scale and a national footprint.