Athene Communications appoints Rachel Wild as new managing director

August 5, 2020

Peterborough based Athene Communications, one of the largest PR agencies in the eastern region and previous winner of the Best Regional Agency of the Year, has appointed Rachel Wild to be its new Managing Director. Rachel will take on the day-to-day management of the company, working alongside Richard Astle, the current MD and owner, who will become executive chairman, responsible for strategy and business development.

Rachel Wild has been Deputy Managing Director of the company since 2019.  She joined Athene after a career as a broadcast journalist, bringing over 20 years of experience in television and radio to Athene. In that role she worked extensively in the UK and Europe and was also GMTV’s US correspondent based in New York.

Since joining Athene in 2013, Rachel has driven the expansion of the company’s PR and social media offer, winning important new contracts with prestigious, international clients such as Royal HaskoningDHV and the Maersk Group as well as local companies and organisations such as Peterborough Investment Partnership, Peterborough Regional College and Nene Park Trust.

Richard Astle said: “I am delighted to confirm Rachel’s appointment as Managing Director.  I decided three years ago that I wanted to appoint a managing director to run the company and Rachel has been shadowing me for the last 18 months.  She is a natural communicator and a great leader, establishing trusted relationships with clients and employees. Over the last four years, the company has expanded substantially and once we get through the initial impact of lockdown, we are keen to grow further. We have a strong team in place and a well-established client base in engineering, education and housing and infrastructure development. I look forward to working with Rachel to take this ambitious agenda forward.”

Richard set up Athene in 2003 after an earlier career in the British Foreign Office and then with Pearl Assurance. He will continue to work for his clients and focus on the long-term development of the company, as well as on his non-executive roles with Natural Cambridgeshire, the Langdyke Countryside Trust and most recently as a member of the Combined Authority’s Independent Commission on Climate Change.

Rachel said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead Athene in a new period of growth. We have an excellent team, great clients and a trusted brand. None of that is going to change. In particular our reputation for high quality, strategic outcomes is something I want to build on – a great team makes for happy clients. We are already one of the country’s largest providers of PR support for schools and have an enviable reputation too for our successful community engagement work, supporting housing and infrastructure projects across the eastern region. This is the platform I want to build on, alongside our employee engagement and internal communications offer.

“Richard will be the perfect ambassador for the company in his new role and I know I can rely on his support and guidance at all times.”

Rachel will be supported going forward by three directors each leading their own business line: Ryan Hyman, Education; Kelly Linay, Community Engagement and Emma McMillan, Internal Communication. Nigel Hards (formerly chair of Peterborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chief Executive of Peterborough United FC) and Rachel Woodford (formerly Chief Operating Officer of London Capital Group) will remain as non-executive business advisers.