Going Beyond

Europe, Middle East, Africa is a vast region comprising three hugely differing media, business, political and cultural landscapes; as well as dizzying diversity of market conditions within each sub-region. Weber Shandwick has the most powerful network on the ground of any firm.

But even more important is our experience in managing complex, authentic multi-market programmes and assignments in every industry sector – from multiple hubs across the region. And our international management and digital capabilities are second to none. One of the reasons we are PRWeek’s and The Holmes Report‘s Global Agency of the Year and the most awarded agency in the region for our expertise, creativity and proven results.

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Most awarded agency network in the region with over 700 wins in 16 years across 16 markets, including 27 Cannes Lions.

Our People

Jonas Palmqvist

Chief Operating Officer, EMEA

Jonas Palmqvist is Chief Operating Officer, Weber Shandwick EMEA, with responsibility for the overall, day-to-day operation of the region. He heads the Operations Board and as a member of the EMEA senior management team, plays a critical part in the continued focus on innovative, higher-value consulting services and further development of the agency’s role as a strategic partner and trusted advisor to clients.

Jonas brings a proven track record in client service innovation and operational excellence. Having worked closely with Weber Shandwick’s global and regional senior management teams since 2014, he has been key to the integration of Prime into the broader Weber Shandwick network, following the acquisition.

During his almost 14 years with Prime, Jonas has developed and overseen the agency’s long-term strategy of thought leadership and attracting best talent. During his time as COO, industry accolades for the team include being named to the list of Contagious Pioneers, a ranking of the “best and bravest” agencies from around the globe that consistently set the standard for excellence and innovation in marketing, for two years in a row (2016, 2017) and being the most-awarded PR agency at Cannes (2010-2016).

Over the years, as a strategist and client experience leader, Jonas has managed a broad range of national and international communications initiatives for clients in the automotive, gaming, industrial and retail sectors. His international client experience includes H&M, IKEA, Nasdaq, SCA, Skanska and Volvo.

Prior to joining Prime, Jonas was CEO of United Minds and before that CEO of the OTW, a media group focused on editorial communications and content strategy. In addition, he has a wealth of experience drawn from multiple political and issues management assignments, including time served in the government as a political adviser to the Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt. Jonas has a degree in Political Science from Gothenburg University.

Helen Bennett

Helen Bennett, Managing Director, London


Helen is a high-performing, versatile communications practitioner with nearly twenty years’ experience developing integrated UK and multi-market communications programmes for some of the world’s largest companies. She is passionate about helping brands and organisations navigate complex change and issues, with particular expertise in FMCG, retail, financial services and not-for-profit sectors.

In her current role as Managing Director, she has operational and strategic responsibility for Weber Shandwick in London. The agency offers a breadth of expertise and specialisms, spanning B2B, consumer, corporate, employee engagement, pharma, public affairs and technology, as well as capabilities in analytics, creative, digital, social, strategic planning and studio production.

In her previous roles as Global Lead of Client Experience and London Managing Director for Client Experience, Helen has championed placing integration and creativity at the heart of the agency. She has been with the agency for twelve years and has overseen award-winning client engagements for Aldi, ExxonMobil, HSBC Group, Mastercard, Nike Foundation, Project Literacy (Pearson) and Unilever.

Before joining the agency, Helen worked at a specialist issues and crisis management communications agency, where she gained experience of managing live crises for companies in the retail and food industries. She started her career at global agency Porter Novelli.

Helen graduated from Cambridge University, with a Master of Arts degree in History.

Greg Prager

Managing Director, Switzerland and Chair, EMEA Corporate Communications


Greg Prager is managing director of Weber Shandwick Switzerland and serves as chair of Weber Shandwick’s EMEA corporate practice. In his role leading the company’s Swiss operations, Greg is responsible for driving the firm’s international consulting hub in Geneva. In his EMEA Corporate role, Greg has responsibility for steering the development of the firm’s corporate communications offering across the region.

He also serves as one of Weber Shandwick’s global client relationship leaders, with responsibility for ensuring delivery across geographies, practice areas, and specialty areas for some of the firm’s largest clients.

Greg brings a broad range of experience servicing clients from FMCG and luxury goods companies to industrial and pharmaceutical firms in the areas of crisis, corporate and issues communications. In his over 20 years in various agency and in-house communications roles, Greg has gained hands-on experience addressing issues and developing proactive strategies across much of the globe, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and North and Latin America. His areas of expertise include media relations, organisation communications, reputation management, crisis and issues management, litigation communications, business development communications, corporate branding and digital communications.

Greg began his career in New York, and has lived and worked in Europe for over a decade. He graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, US, and holds degrees in both Journalism and Political Science. He is a Swiss and American citizen.

Rachael Pay

Managing Director, Health, EMEA


Rachael Pay brings many years of health communications experience to Weber Shandwick’s network, having worked in London and New York driving global, pan-European and national programmes. Her experience includes bitoech, pharmaceutical, consumer health and wellbeing and  professional associations, notably;  Abbott, American Obesity Association, Bausch & Lomb, Colgate, Eli Lilly, Europe Against Cancer, Galderma Laboratories, Gideon Richter,  Johnson & Johnson, Merck Group, Pfizer, Sanofi, The World Heart Federation and Unilever.

In her practice leadership role, Rachael is responsible for partnering closely with the client leaders to identify and unleash the talent of the Weber Shandwick network to ensure the best possible support and results for our health clients.

After graduating from Victoria University, New Zealand, Rachael began her public relations career at Burson-Marstellar’s consumer healthcare division in London.  She then moved to Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG where she focused on building the agency’s healthcare portfolio specifically concentrating on women’s health. Rachael transferred to New York where she led Euro RSCG Life PR (Havas) for seven years.

Her experience includes cardiovascular disease, dermatology, endocrinology, geriatrics, neurology, ophthalmology, reproductive health, urology and veterinary care. In 2016, she was a Healthcare category judge at eurobest – the annual festival of creativity.

Roderick Clayton

Executive Vice President and Co-lead, Global Issues and Crisis


Based in London, Rod works all over the world in the company’s global corporate practice. Throughout his career, Rod has helped promote and protect the reputations of many companies and other organisations, and of the people who lead them.

Industries in which Rod has experience include consumer products, defence, education, energy, entertainment, financial services, food & beverage, gaming, healthcare, heavy industry, publishing, technology, transportation, and travel/leisure, among others.

Matters that he handles typically include government enforcement actions, major litigation (especially intellectual property, competition, discrimination, fraud and international disputes), natural and man-made disasters, environmental, health and safety issues, bankruptcies and restructurings, M&A (including proxy battles), board disputes, industrial action (including strikes, unionisation campaigns and plant closures), product recalls, product liability and market exits, to name a

few. In these and other contexts, he has dealt with a wide range of high-profile, hostile, investigative stories.

Rod also researches and writes crisis plans, and leads simulation exercises to test those plans. He is particularly adept at training CEOs and other major figures to handle tough questions not only from the media, but also in legislative committees, investor meetings, employee gatherings and other challenging situations.

Prior to transferring to London, Rod worked in the company’s Los Angeles office, where he was General Manager of Weber Shandwick’s Southern California operations. Previously, he was in the company’s New York office working on corporate issues and special situations. Rod was educated at the University of Oxford, where he studied classics for his undergraduate degree before taking a doctorate in modern history.


James Nester

Executive Creative Director, Germany


James Nester is UK & EMEA Executive Creative Director of Weber Shandwick. He joined in 2015, with a brief to raise the creative reputation of the Weber Shandwick UK agency and the broader EMEA network.

Since then, James and his team have created the agency’s most awarded campaign ever; recruited a team of award-winning creatives from outside the PR industry; has been behind several campaigns that defy a traditional ‘PR’ label; and has been named an EMEA Top 25 Innovator by the Holmes Report.

Previously, James was Creative Director at We Are Social where, under his creative leadership, the agency was recognised as the best social and digital agency in the world, by AdAge.

Prior to that James was Creative Partner at digital and direct agency OgilvyOne where he devised ‘The Gnome Experiment’, the world’s most awarded direct campaign in 2012 (Big Won Report) and the world’s most awarded PR campaign in 2013 (The Holmes Report). The initiative became part of the national science curriculum in several countries and now features in several marketing textbooks including Social Media Marketing for Dummies.

James has been recognised as the UK’s number one creative by The Big Won Report; has judged Cyber Lions at Cannes; and is one of the only people to have delivered a TED talk about an advertising campaign.

James believes the best ideas break free of their channel to become social and news currency. They’re also endlessly campaignable on any platform, yet recognisable one idea – an approach he terms ‘Spikey Thinking’. He has worked across disciplines, from TV to direct and digital, working as a creative at Wunderman and M&C Saatchi. And in most sectors; from airline to automotive, FMCG to B2B, tech to social impact.

Marcus Dyer

Managing Director, Flipside


Marcus Dyer is a mobile executive and digital leader; an expert in utilising mobile and new technologies and platforms to solve client problems. As a principal at Flipside he takes pride in delivering forward-thinking mobile programmes for clients whether through app development or smart mobile communications strategies.

Having worked as a creative, a technologist and a digital marketer, Marcus has a rare mix of creative flair, entrepreneurial spirit and strategic vision that allows him to manage multi-faceted projects and deliver smart integrated thinking across a range of digital landscapes. Client experience includes Diageo, Doddle, Honeywell and Waterstones.

Marcus has set up and managed successful agencies and takes pride in growing and nurturing standout businesses in the mobile and digital space. He set up digital agency Spook and following an acquisition became managing director of the Digital group at Edelman London. He led the team 2008-2013, building a client portfolio that included Microsoft and Unilever.

Tim Drake

Managing Director, Flipside


Tim Drake is an agency leader and digital executive, having spent 20 years at the forefront of creative technology and emerging digital channels. He has delivered memorable experiences spanning offline, digital mobile and social for some of the world’s leading brands.

As an entrepreneur, strategist, creative, and omnichannel marketer, Tim has established a reputation for his pragmatic counsel and integrated approach to effective project and campaign delivery. Client experience includes Cemex, Nuffield Health, United Nations and Visa.

Tim founded Flipside in the mid-1990s with a loan from the Prince’s Trust, and during his time marshalling the wider group through significant organic growth he has always taken a particular pride in maintaining the extraordinary quality of the agency’s output.

Svetlana Picou

Executive Vice President, Global and Chair, Global Olympics and Sports Industry Affairs


Svetlana is Executive Vice President, Global and Chair, Global Olympic and Sports Industry Affairs. She leads the company’s strategic vision and creative delivery for the global sport industry focusing on the offering, business development, client engagement and services. With some 20 years’ experience in running complex global campaigns across five continents, Svetlana serves as strategic communications advisor directing corporate, brand development, engagement and issues-driven campaigns for countries, brands, institutions and personalities.

For the past 15 years, Svetlana has led Weber Shandwick’s award-winning, global Olympic and Sport Industry Affairs team establishing the agency as one of the leaders in the field. She has worked on some of the most fascinating global campaigns including Olympic bids and OCOGs such as Sochi 2014, Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Los Angeles 2024 (2028). She has also advised sponsors, international federations, World Expo bids, and global brands looking to build winning strategies and campaigns in sport and beyond.

Under her leadership, these campaigns have won an array of industry awards including an EMEA SABRE, a Global PRWeek honour, an IPRA Golden World Award and a Golden China International PR Award.

Svetlana is passionate about the ever-changing global communications environment, with its impact and focus on reputation, engagement and purpose. She speaks five languages fluently and lives in Paris.


Ipelegeng Thibedi

Chief Executive Officer, Africa


Ipi joined Weber Shandwick in March 2020 and brings more than 15 years’ experience in communication and business development, with deep knowledge of strategic communications across consumer and business-to-business, as well as media relations. Her strength lies in building teams focused on creative, strategic communications initiatives and she has specific expertise in brand development, crisis and reputation management, digital and social communications, stakeholder management and sustainability.

Based in Johannesburg, Ipi is focused on business development, further strengthening multi-market client relationships in Africa and the management and expansion of the agency’s growing network across the regional operation.

Prior to her appointment, Ipi spent five years at Deloitte, most recently as business leader for the Greenhouse innovation hub offer in Africa, focused on a range of activities including strategic planning, marketing, C-suite transition and employee engagement. Previous roles with the company included Head of External Communications and Media Relations and prior to joining Deloitte, Ipi was Head of Group Corporate Communications at technology firm, Altron.

Ipi holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Public Relations and Communications from the Tshwane University of Technology and a Certificate in Management Advancement Program from Wits Business School.

Ziad Hasbani

Chief Executive Officer, MENA


With more than 25 years’ experience in the communications industry, Ziad heads Weber Shandwick Middle East and North Africa. His expertise spans a variety of practices including corporate, public affairs and consumer. In addition to his management role, Ziad provides communications, issues and crisis counsel to brands and organisations in the aerospace, banking and financial services, energy, government and industrial sectors.

Client experience includes Al Rajhi Bank, Amlak Finance, the Boeing Company, the Department of Finance of Abu Dhabi, the Dow Chemical Company, First Abu Dhabi Bank, McDonald’s, the Ministry of Finance of the UAE, and many more.

Before joining Weber Shandwick MENA in 2007, Ziad established and headed GOLIN’s Middle East operation. With his in-depth knowledge of the region’s demographics and culture, Ziad was responsible for the public affairs, corporate and consumer practices, working with major regional and international clients in the energy and payment card industries.

Previously, Ziad was general manager of Gulf Space International, the media representative agency of Al Jazeera Satellite Channel, in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In the early 1990s, he co-founded and launched a generalist television station and several print media in the Middle East.

Ziad is a regularly contributor to the MENA region trade media and in 2017 was named PRCA MENA’s ‘PR Leader of the Year’. Under his leadership Weber Shandwick MENA was named Agency of the Year in 2014, 2016 and 2017 by The Middle East Public Relations Association. In 2018, the agency was named Middle East Consultancy of the Year at the EMEA SABRE Awards, and for the fifth consecutive year was listed in the Great Place to Work® UAE top ten ranking.

A graduate of the American University of Beirut with a multicultural background, Ziad is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Italian.

Pete Jacob

Senior Integration Officer


Co-located between London and Dubai, Pete works across IPG’s family of brands to identify, drive and develop integrated marketing communications programmes for clients and prospects. He is focused on delivering a truly integrated experience and solution for clients, working internally and externally to drive collaboration, understanding and trust to deliver the best work, from the best people, no matter where they are based.

Pete also serves as one of Weber Shandwick’s senior facilitators and has worked with the likes of Aramco, Celgene, FIFA, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), GM, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Jumeriah Group, Nespresso, and SABIC delivering a range of workshops and strategy sessions. Specific areas of expertise include messaging and storytelling development, strategy and planning, media and presentation training as well as creative and campaign ideas development.

Pete started his career at LEWIS PR and then joined marcomms agency Brands2Life, where he built a new business function from scratch. Before joining Weber Shandwick in February 2008, he headed up sales and marketing efforts across 11 EMEA markets at global technology PR specialist Text 100.

Pete was a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic volunteer and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Politics from the University of Exeter.

Graham Cox

SVP Business Development & Growth, UK & Europe


Graham joined Weber Shandwick at the beginning of 2017 to lead the growth of the UK business and at the beginning of 2019 his remit was extended to encompass the Weber Shandwick operation across the European region.

With more than 10 years’ experience across all areas of business development and marketing communications, Graham’s core skills include implementing business growth strategies and client relationship management, driving the growing service offering while developing new external relationships.

His career to date includes client and agency side roles across Europe, the Middle East and America. From start-up creative agencies, to global operations, Graham has deep expertise in a variety of service offerings, including brand strategy, creative, communications, digital, employee engagement and social media, that in turn enables him to lead relevant and valued levels of discussion with senior business leaders.

Graham’s approach is based on the belief that it is the people within the business that help brands succeed. Listening to and learning about the strategic business objectives and human drivers within a business can often provide the answers to building better brands. He has a proven track record of creating valued relationships with the likes of Associated British Foods, British Airways, COTY, Siemens and Wrangler. His experience and knowledge spans the consumer, tech, corporate and health sectors.

Emma Bowen-Davies

Marketing Director, Global


Emma Bowen-Davies joined Weber Shandwick in 2000. She is responsible for external and internal marketing activity, directly coordinating multi-country initiatives and providing counsel for local level activity. Her role also supports the development and growth of EMEA’s key practice groups. Particular focus is given to thought leadership activity, sponsorship, online presence and business solutions, collateral production and award programme participation. Over the last 15 years, Weber Shandwick EMEA has won over 600 national, regional and international awards across 16 markets, including honours at Cannes and eurobest; more than any other PR agency in the region.

Emma joined Weber Shandwick after three years at global technology PR agency Text 100, where she established a European marketing department. Prior to this, she spent three years based in Hong Kong and Singapore working for MDK Consultants, the PR arm of Asia-based advertising network, Batey Advertising. She worked on a number of travel industry accounts including ITT Sheraton Corporation, Raffles Hotel and the South Australian Tourism Commission. Having lived and worked in seven countries, Emma is now based in London.

We have a strong team of EMEA region-wide senior level experts with years of solid sector and specialism experience who, together with our best in class individual market-based leaders and teams are ready to support you with all your communications needs.