The St Luke’s-backed design group The Nest is to be closed in September, Design Week can exclusively reveal.
The closure is planned to follow the investment in a digital group by the advertising agency, and comes a few months after the consultancy’s interiors division stopped trading. All of The Nest’s remaining staff will be made redundant.
According to St Luke’s managing partner Neil Henderson, the consultancy will close because too much management restructuring would be required when its managing director Sophie Hatch (pictured) returned only part-time, following her maternity leave.
This is in addition to the loss of creative directors Bill Cumming and Giles Brookes, after the retail side shut earlier this year, in April.
St Luke’s has this week announced that it has taken an undisclosed stake in the on-line content and research agency Ramp Industry, and Henderson says the group is to invest its money in the new venture rather than restructure The Nest.
‘We have decided to close The Nest,’ says Henderson. ‘It is very important that we continue to deliver the work for clients that we have at the moment. But we are not going to take on any new business. Financially it is fine. It was the management team going that was the problem.’
Ramp, which boasts clients such as Sony PlayStation and Channel 4, will retain its current name, and managing director Andy Crysell will sit on the St Luke’s Communications board.
As well as collaborating with St Luke’s, Ramp will continue to work with its existing clients and generate its own business. Ramp and St Luke’s recently worked together to create www.bebravenotbeige.com, a microsite for Ikea’s global textiles launch.
• The Nest was founded by Alex Willcock, Russell Pinch and Rachel Marshall in 1999
• In November 2004, The Nest was acquired by advertising agency St Luke’s for an undisclosed sum (DW 18 November 2004)
• It was decided in April 2007 that The Nest would close its interiors offering, while in July 2007 it was announced that the consultancy would close completely
• Since the interiors offer closed, Bill Cumming and Giles Brookes have set up as Twelve