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Marketing Featured ANZ

Sandpiper Communications expands to NZ, appoints Ed Brewster as director

Auckland, New Zealand – Hong Kong-based communications and public affairs consultancy Sandpiper Communications has announced that it will be expanding to New Zealand by establishing a new office in the country. In addition, the consultancy has appointed Ed Brewster as director for New Zealand alongside assuming the position of director of international media at Sandpiper Communications.

Brewster has worked in corporate affairs both in-house and agency side for 25 years across the technology, financial and infrastructure sectors. Brewster previously led the corporate affairs, public policy and media for Huawei in the UK, as well as managing international media relations for Huawei Group in London. Prior to this, he was head of global media relations for Prudential.

Speaking about his appointment, Brewster said that in addition to being the perfect base for their primary industries offering, they believe that the consultancy can bring significant, tangible value to outward-looking New Zealand organizations. 

“Sandpiper’s established presence across Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Southeast Asia gives us a unique platform to help tell the stories of New Zealand companies to target growth and investment. While brand [in] New Zealand is very strong, significant opportunities for local brands remain untapped, and we want to help close this gap,” Brewster said.

Brewster will be supported by Julia Walker, director of ESG and sustainability at Sandpiper Communications, and Kelly Johnston, COO at Sandpiper Communications

Walker has worked in finance, technology, ESG and international business and market development for 20 years. She has driven the international market expansion for major multinational financial data company, Refinitiv, and provided advisory services on the changing business, regulatory, sustainability and technology landscape across Asia-Pacific.

Regarding her appointment, she noted that they believe that with their network and experience across the region, they are well placed to attract international investment for the consultancy.

“Now is the time for New Zealand companies to unlock the opportunity that the transition to a low carbon and digital economy presents. Integrating climate risks and opportunities and understanding global regulatory and business environment changes will help position businesses for future success. Green finance is on the rise and many international investors are very keen to find opportunities in New Zealand,” Walker said.

Meanwhile,, Johnston has two decades of experience in strategic communications, financial communications, public affairs and sustainability for organizations across a variety of sectors in Asia, Australia and Europe, with recently his stint as a journalist for Radio New Zealand.

“The potential for New Zealand companies has never looked stronger, their entrepreneurial nature combined with brand New Zealand means there are real opportunities for growth and investment. I look forward to helping New Zealand organisations realise their ambitions, and further extending our primary industries experience to clients across the Asia Pacific region,” Johnston said.

Sandpiper is also pleased to announce it has appointed Isabella Durant as a senior account executive in New Zealand, reporting to Ed Brewster.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sandpiper Communications sees new associate director for SG office

Singapore – The Singapore arm of public relations firm Sandpiper Communications welcomes Rasheed Abu Bakar as its new associate director, bringing a multitude of client experience from technology, energy, and aviation industries.

Through his new role, Rasheed will lead Southeast Asia and international briefs for the firm’s expanding technology, energy and environment, and aviation practices, and is tasked as well in growing these practices.

Prior to the role, he has worked with management consulting APCO Worldwide as its director, where he led international corporate communications and public affairs briefs for clients of the firm’s Singapore and Indonesia offices. In addition, he has also worked with public relations company The Hoffman Agency as account director where he also led growth for the business across both Singapore and Indonesia, which included establishing Hoffman’s office in the latter.

Speaking about his appointment, he said, “I was drawn to Sandpiper’s entrepreneurial spirt and inclusive and empowering culture and I look forward to contributing to our team’s success. The pandemic has created both opportunities and challenges for the sectors where I specialize, and it is exciting to see the communications needs of technology companies maturing as digitalization has accelerated significantly.”

“I take great pride in building innovative and impactful teams and count Sir Alex Ferguson as an inspiration. I hope to help lead our talented team towards our common goals of delivering pioneering work for clients, fostering a great culture, and growing our agency,” Abu Bakar added.

He will be working closely with Sarada Chellam, general manager for Singapore at Sandpiper Communications.

“Rasheed has an impressive track record of delivering strategic and high-impact client work, and driving business growth across the industries where he specialises. He also brings a sense of fun to his work, which is one of Sandpiper’s core values. I look forward to having Rasheed as a colleague and working with him to grow our business together,” Chellam stated.

According to Emma Smith, chief executive at Sandpiper Communications, Rasheed’s appointment is timely, as there has been a trend specifically among technology companies to seek after corporate communications to grow and protect their reputation capital.

“Rasheed brings very relevant experience for the times we face, and I am delighted to welcome Rasheed to our team,” Smith added.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sandpiper welcomes two new appointees to take charge of SG operations

Singapore – The Singapore arm of global communications agency Sandpiper Communications welcomes two new appointees being promoted to take charge of the agency’s business operations in the country.

The new appointees are Sarada Chellam, Sandpiper Singapore’s new general manager and Elizabeth Chu, the agency’s deputy general manager. Both will work closely with COO Kelly Johnston, and CEO Emma Smith to drive forward the business in Singapore and across the rest of Southeast Asia.

Chellam has worked previously with the Singapore arm of marketing communications company Ketchem as its senior vice president before joining Sandpiper in 2018 as a director. She specializes in corporate, brand, and crisis communications and provides strategic counsel for clients working across a range of industries including healthcare, technology, travel, and consumer brands. In addition, she brought with her almost 20 years of experience in communications and journalism and has played an integral role in growing Sandpiper’s healthcare practice and digital-first communications offering across the region.

Meanwhile, Chu has been with Sandpiper in Singapore for close to three years and specializes in the financial, technology, and professional services sectors. She set up and grew Sandpiper’s operations in China, spending time between Beijing and Shanghai before returning to Singapore full-time in 2020. She has more than a decade of experience working in corporate communications across Greater China and the Southeast Asia region.

Commenting on their promotions, Chellam said, “I am excited to lead our Singapore office and build on our achievements and growth in recent years. We are fortunate to have hugely supportive clients and an incredible team with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them to deliver great work and drive innovation in our industry.”

Meanwhile, Chu commented, “As Singapore strengthens its status as a global business and financial hub, we are well-positioned to serve our clients in this market and to grow the business alongside them. I am honoured to take on this new role, and to support Sarada and the team in continuing to deliver strong results for our clients.”

For Johnston, working with the two appointees has been a privilege, noting that “they are both talented consultants who lead from the front.”

“[They] are strong ambassadors for our culture and values, and have built trusted partnerships with clients. With our Singapore team doubling in size over the past year, their appointments will help drive forward our continued growth and success,” Johnston added.