Elmwood has announced two new major appointments to drive international growth, as the global design consultancy looks to amplify opportunities in its unique cross-agency model under parent company MSQ.
This article originally appeared in LBB Online.
Former Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) finance director Abi Main has joined the business as global CFO, bringing over 15 years’ expertise in future-focused finance divisions with clients including Mars, Heinz, Cisco and the London Stock Exchange.
Working alongside Abi to round off a powerhouse executive management team is Elmwood’s new global client partner, Kristin Nevin. A seasoned brand transformer, Kristin has over two decades of strategic and creative experience for major global corporates to her name, with a career that stretches from Melbourne and the Asia-Pacific region to European and American markets.
Both appointments are critical to Elmwood’s global expansion within the collaborative structure of MSQ, following its merger with the heavyweight marketing communication giant in November 2021. The acquisition has allowed Elmwood’s teams to draw on MSQ’s vast portfolio of agency knowledge – spanning tech, creative and digital insights – in support of a new era of cutting edge strategic brand design.
“I’m really excited to embark on a journey with Elmwood in this fresh chapter of growth,” says Abi, who has worked to elevate the role of finance across a roster of distinguished B2C and B2B projects. “Financial information shouldn’t be an afterthought to the creative process; rather, it’s a core facilitator of wider business ambitions and decisions. Under my new remit, I’ll be working at the centre of the conversation to enable tech innovation and stimulate next-level thinking.”
“I also strongly believe in culture, and us being a unified leadership team,” Abi adds. “If we can build a framework at Elmwood that is flexible enough to adapt to global market nuances – while also ensuring strategic consistency across all channels – then we’ll have the formula we need for growing international resonance.”
Like Abi, Kristin has worked at JKR in the past; their career paths overlapped when Kristin was made global business director at the London arm of the global design agency in 2016. “Abi is a rare find – she is a real enabler and I’m thrilled to be working together,” says Kristin.
Kristin’s career highlights also include heading up the Melbourne division for WPP-owned brand consultancy Landor. Her career has seen her take charge of a tableau of high-profile rebrands, from corporate branding for the City of Melbourne and creative positioning and experience design of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, to new brand creation for Coca Cola, the most recent M&Ms global redesign and more.
“Elmwood takes an incredibly strategic approach to how it designs brands, whether that is product, identity, tech solutions/experience,” says Kristin. “Their strategic approach is enhanced by Elmwood’s position within a wider network of MSQ-owned agencies. They’re all at various stages of growth and maturity, but they’re brought together by similar values. To be able to focus on best-in-class client solutions within such a broad diaspora of specialisms is an extraordinary asset to have. I’m excited to be joining the company.”
Elmwood’s global CEO, Paul Galesloot, agrees that its ability to lean into cross-agency thinking is a key differentiator for the company, as it looks to expand its footprint in a competitive global sphere.
“Having Abi and Kristin on-board at the centre of our global leadership structure is a huge leap forward for the evolution of Elmwood,” says Paul, commenting on the appointments. “Both bring years of experience in connecting processes with people, solving business challenges and driving corporate change for some of the world’s most prestigious brands.”
“I have no doubt that Abi and Kristin’s creative agility is the fuel Elmwood needs as we work together to shape a new calibre of global brand guardianship and international reach,” he adds. “Their experience is an opportunity to lean further into the advantage of MSQ’s synergic mentality, for tomorrow’s reality of world-class brand vision on a global digital stage.”