Williams back with new group

Ousted Design Bridge managing director Richard Williams, recently departed Coley Porter Bell clients services director Richard Murray and a former CPB group creative head Justin Banks are launching a new consultancy.

Called Williams Murray Banks, the new company will be based off London’s Oxford Street.

For Williams, it’s a fresh start after his acrimonious departure last year from the packaging group he helped found more than ten years ago.

Williams – who says he is “rejuvenated” – is providing the finance for the start-up and will be the majority shareholder. Banks and Murray will earn shares in the company.

WMB’s first employee is Carol Williams, a former marketing manager at CPB. Ian Cochrane of management consultancy Ticegroup will be a consultant.

Aiming at a ceiling of 15 to 20 staff, Richard Williams says: “We will set up different businesses if we want to grow considerably.” Although fmcg brands will be the initial point of reference, “we don’t want to be typecast”, he adds.

Williams says: “It’s a big enough world out there – our competition is everybody.” Murray says: “Design Bridge and Coley Porter Bell are in the past.”

Williams, who more than once tried to recruit Murray for Design Bridge, says staying in control of the new group is key: “I don’t want to work for anyone again.”

Making better use of research is a key aim of WMB. Banks says: “Research will be used not to limit creativity but to open up avenues in which we can be more creative.” WMB is expecting to form research alliances with advertising agencies and other marketing companies.

Although WMB is to use freelance creatives initially, Banks, who has been freelancing for the past few years, anticipates recruiting “young, fresh” designers within months.

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