Integrated marketing, public relations and e-commerce group Ardmore has launched a new standalone consultancy as part of its core services.
The group, which includes creative ad agency Ardmore, public relations specialists LK Communications and eCommerce industry leader Built for Growth (BFG) Digital and employs more than 80 staff, said the new company will support businesses and the government as part of a partnership approach to moving forward and advancing shared agendas in an increasingly complex and challenging world.
The new company, Confluence Consulting, will operate within the Ardmore Group of companies, supporting existing and new clients, and will be led by former Secretary of State for the Economy, Finance and Health Simon Hamilton, who will step down from his role as CEO of the Belfast Chamber after almost four years.
After graduating with degrees in History, Politics and Law from Queen’s University of Belfast, Simon began his career at global business consultancy PwC in Belfast. Simon began his political career in 2005 and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Minister of Health and Minister of the Economy in the Northern Ireland Executive before joining Belfast Chamber in 2019.
He has been widely praised for his work in successfully influencing policymakers and defending and supporting business needs during the pandemic and beyond.
John Keane, CEO of the Ardmore Group, said: “In a fast-moving, challenging and often confusing world, businesses – and government – need strong, impactful engagement, greater understanding and more meaningful partnerships to address problems and find solutions that stimulate economic growth. and investment, and support positive social development.
“Our new consulting division, Confluence, which I am delighted to be led by one of the most experienced and insightful leaders in business and politics in the region, Simon Hamilton, will be a powerful hub, platform and conduit between the business and government that positive, impactful change and progress.”
Simon Hamilton, head of Confluence Consulting, explains: “It sometimes seems that politics and business operate in completely different worlds, but what I’ve realized over my 20+ years of working in both is that the industry needs to work closely with the government and that success in our society is often built on foundations built by both the public and private sectors.
“Despite that important interface, business and government can struggle to work together effectively to achieve our shared goals. Confluence Consulting is about working with public, private and third sector leaders to help them work better together.
“I am excited to combine and channel my government and corporate experience working with Confluence’s clients to define, inform and empower decision making. Ultimately, it will improve understanding between businesses and their stakeholders and help organizations seamlessly navigate their way to rebuilding, recovering and preparing for new challenges.
“Northern Ireland feels like it is on the eve of an exciting period. We have challenges to overcome, but there is renewed international interest in our region and new economic opportunities are emerging. Confluence is passionate about realizing this potential and I look forward to working with our customers to achieve that common goal.”
Ardmore is one of the UK and Ireland’s top multi-award-winning integrated creative agencies, committed to enhancing reputations, improving business results and driving behavior change that drives results through strategic advertising, media, social and digital marketing and design.
Campaign magazine ranked Ardmore as one of the top creative agencies in the UK in 2022.
CIPR Northern Ireland ‘PR Consultancy of the Year’ Founded in 2005, LK Communications is a multi-award-winning strategic communications, media relations and content management specialist delivering high-impact results for a range of businesses, industries and professional services in the private, public and voluntary sector.
Founded in 2000 as Export Technologies, BFG Digital, UK eCommerce Agency of the Year, has grown to become one of the top digital marketing agencies in the North, with over 50 high profile clients and brands across the UK and Ireland.
The Ardmore Group, which includes creative advertising agency Ardmore, PR specialists LK Communications and eCommerce industry leader Built for Growth (BFG) Digital, has launched a new strategic advisory and consulting business as part of its core services. The new company Confluence Consulting will be led by former Stormont minister Simon Hamilton, who will step down as Belfast Chamber Chief Executive after nearly four years. Pictured are LK Communications director Nikki Larkin, Confluence Consulting head Simon Hamilton and Ardmore Group chief executive John Keane
With an 80-strong team, the Ardmore Group of Companies is a recognized industry leader, representing some of the UK and Ireland’s largest public and private organizations and brands, including Belfast City Council, Dale Farm, eir evo, Gas Networks Ireland, Lidl , Lookers Plc, The Northern Ireland Executive Office, Network Rail, Phoenix Energy, Stena Line, Translink and Visit Belfast.
The Group is also a long-standing partner and shareholder of Worldwide Partners Inc (WPI), a global network of 83 independent agencies in 44 countries, who work together and collaborate as one to leverage their creativity, local expertise and diversified capabilities to deliver meaningful campaigns for various international brands.
‘Excitement’ as £15.5million Ebrington Hotel is set to welcome guests