CHIME, the communications firm led by former Tory spin-doctor Lord Bell, has agreed to merge its Bell Pottinger Corporate and Financial business with rival Pelham Public Relations.<br /><br />Chime will own a majority stake in the enlarged business, which will be called Pelham Bell Pottinger. Pelham chief executive James Henderson – who launched the firm five years ago this week – will become managing director of the new business.<br /><br />Henderson said that he was “very excited” about the deal, and about taking the firm to the next level.<br /><br />“We’ve become an established player over five years, but we are not quite top flight yet in financial public relations,” he said. <br /><br />“But this move means we can attract the best talent and take on the big boys.”<br /><br />Privately-owned Pelham reported a pre-tax profit of £880,000 for the 16 months to the end of 2008, on a turnover of around £8.2m. <br /><br />Father-of four-Henderson co-founded Pelham after leaving College Hill Associates, where he had worked for 15 years. His areas of expertise are the oil and gas, insurance, utilities and luxury goods sectors.<br /><br />Described by associates as work-focused and dedicated, Henderson is also known for chasing the sunshine with his family and for running marathons – though he says the latter is “more about keeping sane than keeping fit”.