Bailey leaving Proximity for new holding company
November 04, 2013 | Alicia Androich | Comments
Andrew Bailey is leaving his role as chairman of Proximity North America to lead North American operations for a new holding company made up of smaller, partner-led shops called The & Partnership.
Bailey said that leaving Proximity was a very hard decision since he has “a tremendous amount of heart and respect” for the agency and what it does. He added that BBDO had been his family for the last eight years.
“It was a difficult decision to leave, but it was time for me to explore something totally different and that’s what this is,” he said.
He will begin his new role on Nov. 11. The & Partnership has just launched with offices in New York (where Bailey is currently based), London, Latin America and Singapore. Its offering: the specialized expertise of smaller agencies united with the resources and reach of a global network.
In a Canadian exclusive interview with Marketing, Bailey said his decision came from a realization that today’s agency models don’t fully address the complexity of their clients’ businesses. Using the traditional agency approach of doing a few big, simple things to drive results for clients isn’t enough anymore, he said. “The truth is we need to do a lot of things very well and do it in a very nimble and modern way.”
The & Partnership unites communication agencies with varying specializations but all with a digital focus, including social agency The Social Practice, CRM shop Rapier and bespoke agency The Box.
Interestingly, another holding company – WPP – is a minority shareholder (49%) and partner in The & Partnership; it holds a minority share in another founding agency: CHI & Partners. CHI & Partners founder Johnny Hornby is The & Partnership’s global CEO.
The holding company’s partners share one bottom line. “The model of partner-driven businesses with one bottom line powered by the scale of WPP feels like a really modern and smart solution for client challenges today,” said Bailey. The partnered agencies are led by “likeminded CEOs or entrepreneurs who have a substantial stake in their businesses and want to collaborate under one bottom line to grow and scale their businesses by doing the right things for clients,” said Bailey.
Bailey’s role is to develop the holding company’s offering in North America, which already includes CHI & Partners America and media company M/Six. Beyond looking at bringing several U.K. partners to America, Bailey said The & Partnership is also looking at outside acquisitions.
There are plans to open a Canadian office, although Bailey couldn’t confirm when.