Serra Balls

Serra Balls
Partner

Serra Balls

 

Serra has spent her 20-year career advising complex, global institutions in some of the most high-profile political, regulatory and operational issues of recent times. During her first eight years in consultancy in London, she worked on a range of financial and corporate accounts with extensive experience in all aspects of advisory work, including financial communications, corporate campaigns and transactions.

 

Moving in-house, Serra then spent 12 years in communications roles in financial services. She was a senior member of the Lehman Brothers global communications team during the collapse of the bank in 2008. Most recently, she was Group Head of Communications at ICAP plc, renamed NEX Group plc, before co-founding Eterna Partners.

 

As a native of Istanbul who was brought up in London, Serra loves both cities with a passion. She holds an M.A. with Distinction in Ottoman and Turkish Studies from SOAS and is an enthusiastic Arsenal fan.

PHONE:

+44 (0)20 3911 0353

 

MOBILE:

+44 7775 763018

 

EMAIL:

serra.balls@eternapartners.com

 

F*** The Corporate

Could the anti-racist protests demonstrate a new normal that companies need to prepare for? On a call with a client this week, I witnessed a black member of the corporate communications team’s raw anger at the way her company had responded...

Supermarket Sweep

In face of extraordinary operational pressures following the onslaught of Covid-19, most of the UK supermarkets have been sticking to the go-to maxim for brands in a national crisis:  “if you haven’t got anything supportive to say, don’t say it.” As...

Why do we fall, Master Wayne?

It has been a difficult week where individuals and families have had to pick themselves up and adjust to the new environment. And it has been challenging for companies, experiencing the problems with dealing with workforce welfare, operational problems related...

Ring o’ Roses

In Albert Camus’ novel La Peste, a fictitious city in North Africa is quarantined due to an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague. Authorities dictate that newspapers rally the populace with the (fake) news that the pestilence is under control. If the...

Ear Today, gone tomorrow?

The Times' decision this week to launch a new radio station targeting “disenfranchised” BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live listeners was news to make BBC bosses’ ears bleed, already roiled by job cuts and falling listener numbers. The explosion of political news in...

Pinky and Perky

Succession planners in the corporate world should this week behold and praise the manner of the handover of the reins of the Financial Times editorship. Lionel Barber stepped down and in his place Roula Khalaf will be taking over in January....

Flights of fancy

One of Jeffrey Epstein’s "most effective tools in currying favour with the rich and famous was access to his corporate jet", Felix Salmon of the US political newsletter Axios said this week. Commentators have periodically raised the question whether it is acceptable in...

It’s my life

Summer holidays etc As many of us are winding down at work, crafting our out of office messages and thinking of our annual two weeks’ paid leave, the staff of Molson Coors UK & Ireland may be forgiven to feel a...

(Anti) trust me, I’m a tech company

Navigating anti-trust laws As yet another freely-available piece of social technology launches, with an ‘AR’ version of Google Maps, ‘Big Tech’ itself seems in need of some navigation skills, as it faces multiple break-up calls. This week Makan Delrahim, the US Department of...

Royale with cheese?

The Royal birth “Politics is about what divides us,” one of Queen Elizabeth’s former courtiers was once reported to have said, adding:  “Monarchy is about what unites us.” In the Brexit-weary UK, news organisations greeted the birth of a Royal baby this...

Boeing’s handling of the 737 Max 8 airplane crash

Boeing’s communications efforts following of the crash last Sunday of one of their 737 Max 8 airplanes have contrasted poorly with the those of the flight operator, Ethiopian Airlines. The CEO of the African airline Tewolde Gebremariam seemingly demonstrated a...

Clean cut reputation? Tiffany’s move to sell ‘ethical’ diamonds

Has Tiffany polished away the diamond market’s sustainability problems through its recently implemented certificate to demonstrate the provenance of their diamonds?  The company has launched a new service giving buyers geographic information about their sparkler’s origin. This week saw the latest leg of...

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Until #MeToo, a well-run business faced with a sexual harassment complaint usually kept things quiet even if they fired someone after an investigation. No longer. This week, accountancy firm Deloitte managed to make a virtue of firing 20 partners for sexual harassment...

Say cheese

A peppy 25-year-old Uber executive was filmed scooting across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange this week, promoting Uber’s new Jump Scooter at a time when the company is considering its listing. Pursued by a youthful member of the...

Vegan backlash cows Waitrose carnivore

Given its aspirational, health laden and environmentally mindful value proposition UK supermarket Waitrose and Partners must have been spluttering over their oat milk lattes when they saw the editor of their Waitrose Magazine, William Sitwell, lambast vegans this week. When a freelance...

The decline and fall of Unilever’s Davos Man

After hubris, nemesis. Unilever’s Paul Polman, the proto purpose-driven capitalist and sustainability seer, has been undone by none other than his own shareholders. Now facing almost certain defenestration along with chairman Marijn Dekkers after a botched effort to move Unilever’s...

DJ

The wisdom of solomon

Reflecting on 10 years since the financial crisis, the fortunes of ur-investment bank Goldman Sachs could hardly have been more different to its one time rival Lehman Brothers. This week saw the book end of the tenure of one of its...

Veritas vos liberabit

The horrific legacy of child abuse in the Catholic Church was thrown into focus this week when Pope Francis visited Ireland for the World Meeting of Families gathering....