MSQ Acquires Elmwood and Merges with Holmes & Marchant

The fast-growing international marketing group MSQ, supported by its private equity partner LDC, has acquired Elmwood and merged it with its Holmes & Marchant agency to create an international design powerhouse. The combined organisation is well positioned to ensure that the world’s most influential brands can deliver comprehensive, branded experiences in the multi-platform age.

Over the last two decades, industries have been completely transformed by digital technologies and the drive for increased customer centricity. Brands now require assets that establish and leverage their identity in an ever more dynamic media environment.

The fusion of Elmwood and Holmes & Marchant creates a new agency model, specifically designed to help brands respond to these challenges. Both agencies bring a heritage in developing meaningful and memorable design systems with assets that work across the full spectrum of content channels (offline, digital, social and commerce). Following the merger, they will now also have access to MSQ’s broader capability set, particularly in digital and tech, bringing greater insight and channel-specific expertise to meet the needs of today’s leading brands.

The agency will also build on Elmwood’s sectoral skills in consumer, global healthcare and corporate design as well as its geographic strength and scale in London and New York. Holmes & Marchant will add further consumer and corporate design skills, in-house digital capabilities, geographical weight and expertise in Singapore and Shanghai.

Operating globally under the Elmwood brand, the merged agency will be in the top-tier of the world’s design agencies with 200 colleagues, split across hubs in London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore.  This more diverse team will be empowered to design powerful branding solutions for leading international clients such as GSK, Unilever, Danone and Mars.

Paul Galesloot will be CEO of the enlarged agency, providing overall operational leadership, reporting into Global CEO of MSQ, Peter Reid. Steve Gatfield, the former IPG EVP, will assume the role of Executive Chairman, lending his extensive global industry experience to shape the strategy for the combined business.