Sorrell moots deal with Rainey Kelly start-up

WPP Group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell is understood to be considering investing in the start-up agency being launched by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R executives James Murphy, David Golding and Ben Priest.

It is thought that Sorrell met Murphy, Golding and Priest late last week to discuss the terms of their departures from the WPP-owned agency. It is still not clear when they will leave the agency to start a six-month period of gardening leave.

Industry sources suggest that Sorrell had been keen to keep them within the group and has now expressed an interest in backing the agency. It is not thought that he has started discussions with the three partners.

Murphy, the outgoing chief executive of RKCR/Y&R, creative director Priest and planning director David Golding, resigned from the agency two weeks ago and are expected to launch their start-up early next year. They are currently seeking more partners, including digital specialists, to complete its line-up (MW last week).

Last week, RKCR/Y&R promoted managing director Richard Exon to chief executive just eight weeks after he joined the agency as exclusively revealed in It has also promoted Tony Harris, head of internationalbusiness, to vice-chairman and deputy managing director Russell Hopson to managing director.