Building a UK and international profile for Ardian

Headland has been the international strategic communications adviser to Paris-based Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity) since 2008. We manage the company’s London Programme - working to encourage stakeholder engagement beyond direct investor contacts in the UK and the City. The programme comprises involvement with lobby groups, charities, academic institutions and cultural activities.

We help the firm build and deliver its corporate story. This includes developing its corporate narrative and managing communications around fundraisings and M&A. Across the past year, we have worked on a number of record fundraisings, as well as some significant transactions in the UK, as Ardian’s presence in the country grew significantly. In particular, we handled communications for the record $14bn secondaries fundraising, achieving significant coverage in the UK media for this burgeoning asset class. Headland also led on the communications strategy for Ardian’s investment in London Luton Airport in 2013, managing relations with both political and media stakeholders.

Headland also advised on Ardian’s MBO and subsequent re-branding in 2013. The two-year project, which included devising an approach for all international PR agencies serving Ardian in different geographies, elicited over 250 separate pieces of coverage across international, national, investment and private equity media, culminating in a profile of Dominique Senequier, Ardian’s President, in the Financial Times. Since the spin-out, Ardian has grown to become one of Europe’s leading investment companies, with $55bn under management. Since Headland started working with Ardian, its presence in the UK has also grown significantly. High profile investments include London Luton Airport and EAT, the sandwich chain, while investors now include a number of UK pension funds.