PR firm Financial & Corporate Relations Pty Limited (FCR) is forming close ties with Asia’s largest corporate, investor and financial communication consultancy, Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG).
Hong Kong-based SPRG has acquired a 20 per cent shareholding in FCR, Australia’s longest-established independent financial, investor and corporate relations consultancy.
The partnership will assist Australian ASX-listed companies and financial institutions that wish to expand into Asia while facilitating Asian business links in Australia, and its timing is particularly appropriate a month after Australia and Hong Kong signed a free trade agreement.
SPRG has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia enabling FCR clients to access specialist communication advice and assistance in these markets.
FCR’s founder, Anthony Tregoning, and executive directors, Ashley Rambukwella and Jeremy Kirk, believe that in the decades ahead it will be essential for Australian companies to look towards Asia for growth, rather than predominantly seeking markets in Europe and the US as has been the case until now.
Preparing for the next phase of Australia-Asia relationships
Tregoning commented: “In the coming years, Australia’s business relationships with rapidly developing countries in our region will become more complex.
“We will move from a simple import-export mindset to relationships based on partnerships of skills.
“To succeed, this will require specialist on-the-ground communication advice, coupled with strong local knowledge.”
Tregoning continued: “While China has dominated the attention of Australian media and will continue to grow as a trading partner, more Australians are gaining first-hand knowledge of our other close neighbours and realising they are also growing faster than the US or Europe.
“Through tourism, we are understanding the trade, cultural and political differences among these individual countries.
“The next step is Australian companies gathering detailed intelligence on markets in Asia, increased business-to-business cooperation, more confident inter-country investment and cross-fertilisation at board level.
“We are positioning ourselves to assist clients in this coming development phase.”
Tregoning notes a significant increase in the number of Australian companies expanding in such popular Asian markets as Hong Kong, China and Singapore in recent years.
He adde: “FCR has also assisted companies from these countries to list on the ASX, increase their Australian shareholders and develop their businesses here.
“We believe that SPRG’s strong presence in these markets will provide distinct advantages for our clients.”
FCR’s relationship with SPRG will complement its association with AMO, the leading international network of strategic and financial communication consultancies.
AMO has a strong presence in Europe, North America and South America, as well as agencies in Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, and has consistently featured at the top of global M&A advisory rankings over the past 15 years.
SPRG founder and chairman, Richard Tsang commented: “FCR and SPRG have a similar philosophy of providing business PR specialisation at the local level – we both offer expert local knowledge of key issues, policymakers, journalists and investors in each city where we operate.
“This support is essential, for instance, for global companies to communicate successfully in any cross-border merger, acquisition or trading initiative because cultural differences are a critical determinant of success.
“We will combine our specialist skills in IR, corporate and financial communication to address clients’ needs more effectively, such as accelerating their pace of market penetration; handling roadshows, investor meetings and presentations; conducting shareholder analysis; and improving stakeholder engagement.
“This will help us to improve our competitiveness and expand our businesses.
“We look forward to close cooperation with FCR and the cross-fertilisation of ideas and interchange of people that the partnership offers.”
The new relationship involves FCR directors Anthony Tregoning and Brian Mahoney selling part of their shareholdings in FCR to SPRG, with Anthony Tregoning remaining FCR’s major shareholder.
Executive directors Ashley Rambukwella and Jeremy Kirk recently increased their holdings in the firm.