Grinyer to steer Fitch to Europe

Fitch is exploring the possibility of opening further European offices, following its long-awaited appointment of a senior director for product design.

Clive Grinyer, previously head of European design for Korean electronics group Samsung, joined the consultancy this week.

He takes up a key position within Fitch’s plans to expand its product design business, focusing mostly on consumer products.

“His role is to integrate with the existing team, and be primarily responsible for the development and strategy of taking products to manufacturers,” says Neil Whitehead, senior director at Fitch.

Clive Grinyer confirms that the consultancy may develop products independently before approaching manufacturers. “Everything’s possible,” he says. “It’s one of the tools we want to take out there. We are going to show manufacturers we can add value to what they do.”

Fitch used US-based headhunter RitaSue Siegel in a year-long worldwide search. Working from Fitch’s London office, Grinyer will head an immediate team of eight designers, but have access to far wider resources.

Of the location, Whitehead says: “It is quite clear that Europeans are very keen to work with UK design groups.” But he reveals: “In the longer term, we will be looking to open offices nearer to where those people are located.”

Grinyer spent three years at Samsung, and was previously a founding partner of design consultancy Tangerine. “This opportunity allows me to bring my experience of working in the US, working with Far Eastern companies and designing consumer products for European markets to help Fitch expand into new areas,” says Grinyer.

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