International expansion and new Bristol HQ for brand agency as it takes on new managing partner

June 10, 2022

Bristol brand and creative agency Mr B & Friends has embarked on an ambitious five-year growth plan, including opening bases in London, the US and South East Asia, while also making a key senior appointment.

Ellie Wilson has joined the firm as managing partner, bringing expertise in managing high-performance agency teams and building long-term client relationships. 

Mr B & Friends, which was launched 16 years ago by CEO Simon Barbato, pictured with Ellie, has enjoyed a rapid increase in activity across existing client business over the past 18 months while also securing a number of new clients, including Bristol-based utility group OVO, soft drinks producer Britvic, professional services firm Marsh and BMT, the specialist engineering business.

Its increasingly workload with more international clients, such as InterContinental Hotels Group and Sofidel, the Italian kitchen towel and toilet tissue manufacturer, has ignited its ambition to have a presence in a number of key cities.

As well as London, where it has a number of existing clients, the agency plans to open an office on the US West Coast close to the HQ of sister company Noble, while a base in South East Asia is planned for 2025. 

Meanwhile in Bristol – where it moved to from its original base in Bath in 2017 – it will relocate from its current home in the Runway East hub on Victoria Street to a new headquarters at Whitefriars, which will offer more space for its team, which it expects to more than double to 70 by 2026. 

Employees from all departments will be offered the chance of secondments and relocation to the new locations as they are established.

Ellie Wilson has joined Mr B & Friends from Bristol creative agency Taxi Studio, where she worked for eight years, most recently as operations director.

In her new role she will join Mr B & Friends’ senior leadership team and will be working with client services, operations and finance to ensure the business is in optimum shape as it expands.

Simon Barbato said: “This has to be the most exciting phase in Mr B & Friends history.

“We have engineered our business to deliver superb brand consultancy with creativity for ambitious clients while delivering a sustainable business model to encourage future growth.

“I am delighted that Ellie is joining us and will help spearhead the expansion of the business. She brings a huge amount of talent and experience in all levels of agency management, which will enable me to focus on our growth plans.

“The future is something we’re all excited about.”

Ellie added; “I’m thrilled to be joining Mr B & Friends at such a pivotal point.

“My conversations so far have confirmed that we’ve got an outstanding team and firm foundations in place to take on the expansion.

“I’m looking forward to playing my part and ensuring we all enjoy the journey.”

Mr B & Friends provides brand strategy, identity, communications, internal communications and creative services across some high growth vertical markets to consumer and B2B brands.

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