The embattled office of APCO in Indonesia may be in for more tough times.
Some time maybe as early as this week, said little birds to Unspun, APCO’s competitor in Indonesia Kiroyan Partners will announce a partnership with Vriens and Partners. Vriens Partners is headed by Hans Vriens, the suspender wearing, battered suitcase carrying former head of APCO Indonesia and APCO in the region.
After many years in Indonesia Hans relocated to Singapore about two years ago to start up APCO there as well as to head the regoin. But hand has not been a happy camper. Some birds say that he felt frustrated that his overbosses were too conservative and unwilling to embrace newer ways of communicating, such as using new media.
At any rate Hans has left APCO in not the best of terms and has started his own consultancy, Vriens and Partnership.
Of late both Hans and Noke Kiroyan, of Kiroyan Partners and formerly of Rio Tinto and Newmont and often mistaken for a Japanese, have seen potential synergies in a partnership. They both see lots of opportunities in indonesia and Hans can bring to the table his contacts while Noke can bring to the table resources, said the birds.
Both men also have another common link that bolsters the partnership. Noke’s daughter Natasha is currently working at Vriens and Partners. She remains a shareholder in Kiroyan and Partners where she was working until a few months ago when she departed for Singapore to follow her heart, said the birds.
This partnership between Noke and Hans is sure to pose stiff competition for APCO Indonesia, which is currently helmed by John Arnold, formerly of Ernst and Young. John, who retired from EY and then took up this job has not been having a restful time at APCO Indonesia as the firm has, so said the birds, been having some problems here and there.
Looks like John is in for exciting times, as the Chinese would say.