Citigate Sard Verbinnen Opens California Office; Paul Kranhold, Former VP of Corporate Public Relations at AT&T, Leads New Office; Matt Benson, Five-Year Veteran of CSV New York, Joins West Coast Expansion

NEW YORK--()--June 8, 2005--Citigate Sard Verbinnen, a leading financial and corporate communications firm, announced today that it has established a new office in California, the firm's third office. Paul Kranhold, former VP of corporate public relations at AT&T, who has joined Citigate Sard Verbinnen as a managing director, heads the west coast office, which will be located in San Francisco. He will be joined in the new office by Matt Benson, a principal and five-year veteran of the firm in New York.

George Sard, Chairman and CEO, said, "California has long been one of the nation's top markets and is particularly important as a hub for finance, technology, entertainment, and manufacturing and for access to Asian markets. Although we have served clients on the west coast for more than 12 years, establishing a physical presence in the region is a strategic move that we have been contemplating for some time. Paul Kranhold brings the ideal mix of experience and local relationships we need to anchor this move, and we are delighted that he has chosen to join our team. With Matt Benson relocating from New York in support of the effort, we expect our California office to hit the ground running."

Paul Verbinnen, President, said, "Having worked with Paul Kranhold for several years when he was at AT&T, we know he is enormously talented. It is a pleasure to welcome him to our team, and we look forward to his leadership in spearheading this important effort on the west coast. With offices in California, Chicago and New York, we now have a truly national footprint from which to offer our specialized communications services. Our goal is to provide clients with seamless access to all the resources of our firm and of our global parent."

Kranhold said, "I've had the opportunity to work alongside many public relations agencies during my career. I have never encountered a group as capable as Citigate Sard Verbinnen is in providing substantive strategic counsel as well as hands-on communications support and execution services to its clients. George Sard and Paul Verbinnen set the tone throughout the firm with their direct client involvement, which creates a unique culture of client service of the very highest caliber. I'm joining a great team, and look forward to working with my new colleagues to expand this world-class franchise on the west coast."

Before joining Citigate Sard Verbinnen, Kranhold served as Vice President of Corporate Public Relations at AT&T, where he was responsible for the company's financial communications, media relations and executive communications teams. During his tenure he managed corporate communications on complex earnings announcements, management changes, litigation, government investigations, and the pending merger agreement with SBC.

Before joining AT&T, Kranhold was senior vice president for public affairs at Fleishman-Hillard in San Francisco. He managed crisis communications, media and government relations and provided corporate reputation counsel to clients including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Ross Stores, SBC, Texas Instruments, Motorola and Intel. Earlier in his career, he was vice president for corporate communications at The Irvine Company in Newport Beach, California.

Before entering corporate life, Kranhold spent several years in the public sector. He was press secretary and deputy press secretary to California Governor Pete Wilson during one of the most trying periods in the state's history from 1992 to 1995. Additionally, he has served as a spokesman and public relations officer for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the California Trade and Commerce Agency. Kranhold has worked on congressional, gubernatorial and presidential election campaigns in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas and California. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from George Washington University and has attended intensive foreign language programs at the Monterey Institutes of International Studies in California and the Austro-American Institute in Vienna, Austria.

Matt Benson, a principal and five-year veteran of Citigate Sard Verbinnen's New York office, will relocate to San Francisco as part of the west coast expansion. Benson has extensive experience in developing and executing a range of media and investor relations programs, as well as managing both friendly and contested transaction announcements. He works closely with a number of leading corporate clients and private equity firms, and also serves as director of the firm's New Media Strategies group, which leverages web-based communications strategies and tactics.

West coast clients will be served out of the new offices located at 101 Second Street in San Francisco.

About Citigate Sard Verbinnen

Founded in 1992, Citigate Sard Verbinnen, Inc. is a financial and corporate communications consulting firm that operates at the nexus of public relations and investor relations. It provides strategic corporate, financial and crisis communications counsel and services to clients including Fortune 500 corporations, smaller public companies, financial and professional service firms, privately held entities and high-profile individuals. With offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, the firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the London-based Huntsworth, plc. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.sardverb.com or www.incepta.com.

Contacts

Citigate Sard Verbinnen
George Sard or Paul Verbinnen
212-687-8080
or
Paul Kranhold or Matt Benson
415-618-8750

Contacts

Citigate Sard Verbinnen
George Sard or Paul Verbinnen
212-687-8080
or
Paul Kranhold or Matt Benson
415-618-8750