For the second time in the past year a former director for the losing Conservative Party campaign has moved to the financial world from the world of politics.
On Friday Bayfield Strategy Inc., which defines itself as “a leading financial communications firm,” welcomed Jenni Byrne to its team. Byrne was the former deputy chief of staff to Stephen Harper and national campaign manager in the 2011 and 2015 federal elections. Bayfield was set up a few years back by Riyaz Lalani, and advises clients on targeted communications, particularly in the context of M&A and proxy contests.
At Bayfield, Byrne will serve as vice president of strategic communications and will also work with Evolution Proxy, a Bayfield company recently launched with a new integrated approach to shareholder solicitation.
Earlier, Ian Robertson, who was chief of staff and campaign manager team for Tim Hudak (who was defeated by Kathleen Wynne in the 2014 battle to be premier of Ontario) joined Kingsdale Shareholder Services as vice president of communications. That firm is particularly busy with at least five active files on the go including the attempt by Sprott Asset Management to acquire control of Central Gold Fund and Silver Bullion Trust; the attempt by Canadian Oil Sands to defend itself against the hostile offer from Suncor.
So what’s the common theme between politics and shareholder communications/proxy contests?
“At the end of the day there are two points of view and it’s all about winning over the hearts and minds, whether they are individuals or shareholders,” said Robertson.