Jeff Astle, a leading international business strategy and market development expert with nearly two decades of experience in the Asia-Pacific region, joined APCO Worldwide as managing director, Shanghai, Brad Staples, chief executive officer, announced.
“Our clients are committed to building business in China but are equally mindful of the challenges and complexities at present. They value guidance from partners with deep understanding, insights and practical experience,” said Staples. “Jeff’s China advisory and advocacy expertise, coupled with a deep appreciation of financial management and corporate strategy, will be important to clients committed to the China market.”
Astle joins APCO from the China-Britain Business Council, where he served as managing director, China. During his tenure, Astle led teams assisting UK businesses and stakeholders to enter and grow in the China market, and managed relations with Chinese and British governments.
Since entering the China market in 1989, APCO has assisted a wide range of organizations navigate through complex challenges and succeed in the fast-changing business environment. This long-term engagement in the market has positioned APCO to be keenly attuned to political, regulatory and business changes across China. Astle is the latest addition to APCO’s team in the Greater China region—with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong—which includes industry veterans such as James McGregor, Anne Wang, Ben Ou and Chris Murck. APCO’s multilingual, cross-cultural team consists of professionals from diverse backgrounds, including government, business, academia, journalism and non-profit, allowing APCO to provide integrated solutions tailored to clients’ specific goals.
“Understanding how to navigate the China market is an essential element for nearly every global business today,” Astle said. “APCO’s team has a real understanding of local dynamics and unparalleled appreciation of global opportunities, risks and trends. I am thrilled to join such a talented group of professionals and look forward to helping clients adapt and thrive in this critical part of the world.”
Astle began his career in the media industry, culminating in his role as the launch marketing director of a UK national broadcast network. He then transitioned to strategic advisory, advocacy and partnership development for various broadcasting companies, trade bodies and government institutions. Astle has postgraduate degrees in marketing from Bristol Business School and in global business from Oxford University. He is also a chartered management accountant, chartered marketer and intermediate Mandarin speaker.
Astle is joining APCO during a landmark year for the company, as 2019 marks its 35th anniversary. Founded by Margery Kraus as a single-person operation in 1984, APCO has grown to a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with nearly 800 employees based in more than 30 global markets.