Five of the management team at M&C Saatchi have announced, mid-January, that they are buying a 30% equity stake of the UK ad agency for an undisclosed sum, following agreement with the M&C Saatchi Worldwide board and the plc board. The five directors are: Chairman Tim Duffy, CEO Tom Bazeley, Chief Creative Officer Justin Tindall, Chief Strategy Officer Gaby Bell and Managing Director Tom Firth.
This investment follows the appointment of Justin Tindall as Chief Creative Officer, and the deal reflects the entrepreneurial spirit which is at the heart of the M&C Saatchi brand.
The M&C Saatchi network is a federation of entrepreneurs who share in the ownership of the agencies they run. Financially structuring the London office in this way brings the UK into line with the rest of the network. M&C Saatchi experience and results show that this model correlates with business performance and a more entrepreneurial culture.
In 2015 we won 17 new clients and lost three, increasing our revenue by 5.2% on 2014. We know that when the management team takes ownership the agency’s performance improves. With the huge personal dedication of our team, who are imbued with a new energy as a result of this deal, I am confident that 2016 will be even more successful and am excited at what the future holds.
Chairman M&C Saatchi UK Group
The basis for M&C Saatchi’s success worldwide has been simple and consistent: the right people, fully motivated, with the freedom to operate that only ownership can bring. This is now in place in London
Worldwide CEO M&C Saatchi
Tim Duffy, Chairman M&C Saatchi Group, co-founded, in 1995, M&C Saatchi, top 10 agency and a multi-disciplinary company, encompassing PR, digital, direct, sponsorship and media. He was appointed Managing Director of the UK agency in 1997, Chief Executive in 2004 and Chairman of the UK Group in 2009. Over the time, he worked for a range of clients including like National Lottery, London 2012, British Airways, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, COI & Scottish & Newcastle and Change4Life.
Justin Tindall, Chief Creative Officer, is a new but hugely important part of the M&C Saatchi team. He became CCO at M&C Saatchi in early 2016, having previously been Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett for five years. During Justin’s time at Leo Burnett, he helped the agency pick up a number of impressive clients, including the £50 million Co-operative Group account. He also helped to create the multi-award-winning “#LikeAGirl” campaign for Always. Before working at Leo Burnett, Justin was previously the creative partner at The Red Brick Road for four years and at DDB London before that.
Tom Bazeley, CEO, doffed the chief’s cap at M&C Saatchi for the first time in October 2014, shortly after the acquisition of digital creative shop Lean Mean Fighting Machine. Tom’s career started off at Reuters, but in 1999 he left via the back door and joined their then digital agency BMPinteraction. A year later, Tribal DDB formed and Tom became a planner at the home of planning, at Bishops Bridge Road. Five years of learning the ropes was enough however, and in 2004 he launched Lean Mean Fighting Machine. Digital innovation was at the heart of the agency’s work for progressive clients such as Emirates, Land Rover, Samsung, Converse and Unilever. The agency went on to become one of the leading independent digital creative shops in the world, picking up Digital Agency of the Year in Cannes along the way. It’s with the same creative bravery that precipitated this success, that Tom leads the troops at M&C Saatchi.
Gaby Bell, Chief Strategy Officer, has a career which spans both advertising & marketing over a period of almost 20 years. Today she occupies the role of Chief Strategy Officer for the M&C Saatchi Central Strategy Unit with both Client and departmental responsibilities. She started life as a graduate trainee at JWT and went on from there to spend 6 years at Unilever looking after personal care brands Lynx & Impulse. Firmly back in the Agency world again Gaby has spent the last 10 years helping clients maximise the value of their brands and customers. Her strategic insights for Nivea, Unilever, RBS, TFL & Motorola have been recognised with numerous industry awards. Today Gaby’s account priorities at the Agency include RBS, Public Health England and Transport for London, Unilever & Royal Mail.
Tom Firth, Managing Director, started at M&C Saatchi as a graduate fresh out of university in 2000, and was promoted to Managing Director in 2014. Over the years he’s worked across cars, supermarkets, retailers, financial services, FMCG, tourism, travel and much more besides. He’s been closely involved in brand development and behaviour change work with Public Health England, which explains his pure and blameless lifestyle. During 2015 Tom led the election campaign which saw the Tories achieve a surprise victory.
M&C Saatchi is built on one enduring philosophy: Brutal Simplicity of Thought. The agency has 265 staff, working with clients including: NatWest, Unilever, Pernod Ricard, Public Health England and Royal Mail
M&C Saatchi UK Group consists of best-in-class specialists that each focus on a slightly different part of the marketing mix: M&C Saatchi, LIDA, M&C Saatchi Clear, M&C Saatchi PR, M&C Saatchi Merlin, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, M&C Saatchi Mobile, Audience and The Source.