Grass Roots to close Worcester office amid divisional shake-up

Grass Roots promotes Giselle Ripken to new role, Jeremy Brown to leave, and Worcester office to close as part of the ongoing consolidation of its Meeting & Events division.

Giselle Ripken takes on role of director, Meetings & Events at Grass Roots
Giselle Ripken takes on role of director, Meetings & Events at Grass Roots

Grass Roots has promoted Giselle Ripken to the new role of director, Meetings & Events as plans for further consolidation and integration of its Meetings & Events division have been accelerated.

Jeremy Brown, who was appointed managing director for the Events & Communications division in Marlow last summer, will leave the business in March.

Des Mclaughlin, divisional director for Grass Roots Meetings & Events, said Brown's departure "was mutually agreed and Jeremy has a number of other options he's considering."

Mclaughlin confirmed the Worcester office would be closed some time in the future, following the recent loss of the Jaguar account mid-contract, and staff from the live and production arm would be split between London and Marlow.

"This has accelerated our plan to further integrate the meetings and events division," said Mclaughlin. "Having separate MDs for the divisions doesn’t send out the right message. Giselle will sit over delegate management services, event management and the live and production teams, which will enable us to respond to client briefs as one company and team. This was always the plan, we are just executing it sooner than planned.

"I would hope that as the year progresses, we will start to have teams based more around clients, than location."

He added that the company has also won significant business with banking, finance and oil and gas clients, which involves the provision of services across the four specialist Grass Roots divisions, further supporting the integrated approach.

Ripken, who has headed up Grass Roots DMS, the Delegate Management Services arm of the Meetings & Events area, will now be responsible for the Fleet and Marlow sites and will report directly to Mclaughlin.

The move to consolidate the event management specialisms mirrors the formation of single account management and sales teams, which operate across the division.

Andy Lister, Grass Roots' COO, said: "Jeremy has played an important role in Marlow and he has helped us through a difficult transitional period and hands the business over to Giselle in a much stronger position."

It is unclear whether further redundancies will be made as a result of the closure of the Worcester office. The five-strong Jaguar team was made redundant following the loss of the account.

Earlier this month, Richard King was named as non-executive chairman of Grass Roots after joining the agency in January 2013 as non-executive director.

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