Figtree to open Hong Kong outpost to service South East Asia

Figtree will open a new office in Hong Kong at the beginning of September to meet increased client demand in South East Asia.

Figtree head of strategy David Brabbins will be moving from the London office to become managing director of Figtree Hong Kong. He will head an initial team of three – a strategist, a creative manager and an account manager – says Figtree managing director Simon Myers.

Myers says, ’We want to take local and regional organisations and tell their story on a bigger stage and make them global players. If you look at the future of Western and Far East economies, the top ten companies are going to be from [Asia] and we want to be part of that.’

The decision follows the success of Figtree’s branding work for Taiwan-based smartphone group HTC. Myers says, ’We’ve been asked to work on various projects in Asia over the past year. We want to do it properly, which means investing time and meeting people on the ground.’

Brabbins, the lead strategist on Figtree’s work for HTC, says the consultancy plans to work with similar clients to those it has in the UK, employing the same entrepreneurial culture and agile working methods. Figtree is currently searching for the right people to join the Hong Kong office, says Brabbins.

It is likely that the lead creative will have ’plenty of London experience’, whereas Figtree are looking for a local, Chinese-speaking candidate with knowledge of the Asian market for the role of account manager, he says. The expansion into Asia follows the launch of Figtree’s Paris office in March.

That office is led by Figtree Paris managing director Laurence Gilardone, who moved from the position of senior strategist at the London office. The Paris office has been working on projects for several Moroccan and Belgian companies, as well as for clients from within France.

Myers says, ’The Hong Kong office will be integrated with the London and Paris offices. It won’t be a standalone office in terms of people, training and projects.’ With regard to further expansion, Myers says, ’We’re a boutique design consultancy so we don’t need to become the biggest. We just need one more [office] on the west coast of the US, and then that’s it.’

Figtree history

  • 2003 -Figtree is founded by ex-Interbrand colleagues John Holton and Simon Myers
  • 2009-the consultancy works on branding for Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, using the strapline ’Quietly brilliant’
  • March 2010 -Figtree opens an office in Paris, headed by London senior strategist Laurence Gilardone
  • September 2010 – the group will open an office in Hong Kong, bringing Figtree’s boutique design approach to the Asian market, says its head of strategy David Brabbins

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