Andy Merrill brings nearly 20 years of strategic financial communications experience to Prosek, with a focus on transaction communications and issues and crisis management working with some of the world’s leading corporations. Prior to joining Prosek, Mr. Merrill was a Senior Managing Director at Teneo, a global strategic consultancy where he counseled CEO’s and boards of directors in the areas of corporate strategy, business operations, media and investor relations, corporate and executive reputation management, transaction communications and other special situations.
Prior to Teneo, Mr. Merrill was the US Chief Executive Officer of Finsbury, a financial communications firm based in London. Mr. Merrill led the successful build out of Finsbury’s US office focusing on domestic and cross-border transaction communications, financial media and investor relations, shareholder activism approach and defense, and crisis communications. Mr. Merrill led the ultimate merger of Finsbury’s US office with Robinson Lehrer Montgomery. Prior to Finsbury, Mr. Merrill led Edelman’s thirty-person global financial communications practice, which he joined from Abernathy MacGregor, a strategic financial communications consultancy where he was a partner and Managing Director. Prior to Abernathy Mr. Merrill was in finance, serving as an investment banker at UBS and as both a senior commercial banker and the head of investor relations for The Bank of New York.
Mr. Merrill is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and has an MBA in finance from Columbia University in New York.
He is Chairman of the Board of the Stamford Hospital Foundation in Stamford, Connecticut and a Member of the Boards of Trustees of Row New York and USRowing Foundation.
Q & A
What are you most proud of in your (public relations) career?
As a practitioner, I am most proud of two engagements. I advised UBS on managing the crisis created when a rogue trader booked a roughly $2 billion trading loss and working closely with the new CEO and Group Executive Board to develop and implement the business strategy that saved the firm and remains in place today.
The second engagement was working with 8 former senior executives of Morgan Stanley (the so-called “Group of 8”) to effect leadership change at the firm. This was before shareholder activism became a household word and no one gave us a chance. By waging a consistent campaign with shareholders, supported by selective, strategic engagement with the media, we prevailed on the Board to make a change. It was an amazing campaign with 8 very special, highly principled men who in many ways created investment-banking as we know it today. I still keep in touch with them.
As a manager, I am most proud of the smart young people I have been able to introduce to this business; training them and then watching them grow. They are family to me.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
I have run the Boston Marathon in under three hours…JUST under three hours.
How would your mother describe you?
Definitely smarter and better looking than my older brother…, right mom?
What are your greatest strengths as a (PR) communications practitioner?
I listen well, think clearly and remain calm, regardless of the level of anxiety and stress in the room
What is your favorite food?
Describe your perfect client.
The best clients are the ones that give you both a seat and a voice at the table
What three hobbies or activities do you enjoy most?
There is no greater pleasure than being with my three kids, ages 25, 28 and 30 AND my two amazing grand kids ages 2 and 4.
I have loved this business since the day I fell into it more than 20 years ago.
When I am not working, or spending time with my family and grand kids, I devote time to my board commitments at Stamford Hospital, Row New York and USRowing, and enjoy competitive master’s rowing and fly fishing out west or on Long Island Sound.
What’s your favorite part of the workday?
Waking up early, reading and listening to world and financial news that has developed overnight and thinking about how it’s likely to impact my clients – that sets the agenda for the day
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
What is your favorite quote?
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”
Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) - JAWS