Halpern Hires Mark Schmid as New Managing Director
Mark Schmid, formerly Client Services Director at Good Relations, has joined Halpern as its new Managing Director.
Schmid, who has headed up PR for brands including TalkTalk and The Carphone Warehouse, will bring corporate and issues management as well as consumer specialisms to Halpern, helping to drive the next phase of the 22-year-old agency’s development.
Founded on its unrivalled connections, Halpern started out working in fashion, luxury, beauty and retail, and was one of the first agencies to build a celebrity division, aligning brands with influencers. The agency has significantly expanded in recent years, adding global consumer, hospitality, personal care and lifestyle clients to a compelling roster which includes Unilever, Fitness First, Avon, Five Guys, Aga Rangemaster and UGG.
In October 2013, the agency became a partner in The&Partnership, an international group of communications businesses backed by WPP, with offices spanning four continents. Earlier this year, Halpern opened office in New York, alongside The&Partnership North America – giving it a second base from which to run its global strategic communications business for Unilever, as well as developing relationships with new brands in the US.
Schmid said: “Halpern is a unique agency in its own right – fast-paced, bursting with talent, and very much a growth business with an ambitious culture. Add to that its links with The&Partnership – whose brilliance in cross-discipline communications I can attest to, as a former client – and Halpern has a compelling proposition, matching planning, digital and data analytics capabilities, as well as content development through its newest agency, AllTogetherNow, with stakeholder and media relations.
“Halpern stands out as an agency with a clear sense of direction and strong growth potential. I’m delighted to join the team and help realise that potential.”
Before joining Good Relations, Schmid was Communications Director for TalkTalk Group for over five years, arriving there from his role as Group Head of Communications at Carphone Warehouse as the businesses prepared to demerge. At TalkTalk, Schmid was responsible for corporate, issues management and consumer media relations together with public affairs and corporate responsibility. Before moving into telecoms and media, he had a 15-year agency career leading account teams on international FMCG brands.
Jenny Halpern Prince, CEO and founder of Halpern, said: “Mark’s credentials speak for themselves, and he’ll add a valuable skillset to our proposition. His arrival is great timing, as Halpern gears up to take on New York, as well as moving into new areas of specialism at home in London.”
Schmid replaces outgoing MD Jen Burner who, after 11 and a half years at Halpern, is relocating out of London to spend time with her young family.
Jenny Halpern Prince, CEO and founder of Halpern, said: “Jen has played an invaluable role in building Halpern up into a recognised communications player and creating a culture where we have long-term employee commitment and retention – we’re all truly sad to see her go. She’s as much a friend as a business partner, so I know we’ll have a longstanding relationship.”