Big Picture – A Deep Dive Examination of Be Heard Group PLC
Be Heard Group PLC Snapshot
Our goal is to build an agile group of connected partners focused on helping clients maximise their return on investment from digital marketing.
To achieve this, we acquire and connect exceptionally talented companies spanning key digital marketing disciplines, and nurture them by providing management experience, access to deeper resources and a strong platform for growth.
Marketing services have become polarised between the giant holding groups and consultancy firms, and small specialist companies.
In the past, talented independents had a binary choice: stay independent or be bought up by one of the big guys.
This leaves a sizeable gap in the market for a mid-size, pure-play digital group like us. A nimble, connected group of exceptionally talented partners designed to deliver better, more integrated and more cost-effective solutions to clients.
We’re not stamp collecting. Instead we seek out partners who share our values. Who are passionate about helping clients make the most of the digital world. Who make the right mood music with our existing partners.
We are building the Group around four cornerstones mapping the digital marketing journey:
Strategy, insight and innovation
Media planning and buying
Creative and content
UX, design and build
Our first four partner agencies – agenda21, MMT Digital, Kameleon and Freemavens – operate across these four cornerstones.
Across our four partner agencies we now have a team of nearly 200 digital marketing experts offering genuine breadth and depth across a wide range of capabilities and able to work as one team to deliver end to end solutions to clients.
Our goal is to be able to deliver integrated solutions across strategy, media, creative and design, a brilliant customer experience and maximum ROI for clients.
Data and analytics will be the foundation which links everything together. We will invest more in this area to ensure we have cutting-edge capabilities which underpin and strengthen all that we do.
Our initial focus has been to establish Be Heard in the UK. As well as seeking to add scale and capabilities, the next stage will be to explore opportunities to expand internationally to increase our ability to attract and develop global clients.
Our business model
Our business model creates value for clients, partners and shareholders by:
First, acquiring exceptionally talented partners that meet our investment criteria in terms of strategic and market position, management strength, growth, margin and strength of client relationships.
Second, providing management support and access to deeper resources for businesses that have often reached a natural inflection point, helping them put in place the infrastructure and develop the capabilities they need to reach the next level.
Third, integrating partners within the Be Heard family, enabling them to work alongside our other agencies to deliver more connected solutions and move up the food chain. This is already bearing fruit with a number of Group clients.
Fourth, providing centralised support in areas such as finance, business development and talent management. We also plan to move everyone in London to one building to help foster our developing Group culture.
We are building an ambitious, talented and committed team who want to work together to build and share in the Group’s success. Before making an offer to a potential partner we make sure there is strong cultural fit and chemistry with our existing partners.
It is this connectivity and chemistry that makes Be Heard unique.
A connected group of brilliant specialists
Freemavens is a data analytics and strategy consultancy using leading edge thinking, technology and techniques to help businesses grow faster. We make big data actionable. We are both a research company and a brand and innovation partner for clients. We work with some of the world’s most advanced marketers to give consumers more of what they want and need. We do this by analysing multiple data sets to inspire breakthrough solutions for business.
We’re about science and invention. We use our inquisitive, insightful and creative nature to find and improve every aspect of your business that could be more effective through smarter use of complex data, search and digital media. Using forensic analysis, we’ll rigorously guide you on this journey figuring out where digital marketing can give you a competitive advantage. Digital media carried out properly and intelligently is no longer an option… which is why we exist.
The Corner is founded on two words. ‘We will’. It’s not another theory or agency model, it’s an advertising attitude. This can-do mentality is how we work with our clients and partners in every moment of every day to achieve success. An energetic collaboration of advertising, technology and culture, with an appetite for the new, The Corner is open, generous, and democratic. So no agendas or egos to get in the way of the right solution. Just whatever work works best.
Kameleon is an award-winning content marketing agency operating at the intersection of creativity, data and technology. Every piece of content is rooted in a strategy underpinned by data, which means that we create content that people want to spend time with. In the last 12-months we’ve helped sell out an exclusive range of Lee Cooper jeans, made Evian the most talked about brand at Wimbledon, and almost doubled the web traffic to CityIndex’s website.
We’re strategists, analysts, problem solvers, creators, originators, designers and builders – we’re digital visionaries. Whether it’s creating a new digital service from scratch or modifying, improving or scaling up current platforms, we work in partnership with our clients to drive efficiencies through technology and launch the best possible solution. In 2017, MMT Digital was the most awarded agency at the RAR Digital Awards, the only awards voted for entirely by clients.
Board of directors
The Board consists of two Executive Directors and three Non Executive Directors and meets regularly throughout the year.
The Board comprises the executive management of the Group and thus maintains full control over its activities. Decisions are accordingly taken quickly and effectively following consultation among the Directors concerned if any matters arise. The Board takes the view that this direct but flexible approach has enabled the Group to deal effectively with all matters.
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining Be Heard, Simon was on the board of GlobalData plc, an AIM-listed data and business information company, where he served as CEO from 2007 to 2016 and CFO from 2016 to 2017. Under Simon’s leadership, GlobalData plc which listed on AIM in 2009 grew to a market capitalisation of more than £600m. Previously he was Group Finance Director of Datamonitor plc and Finance Director of Musgrave UK before which he held a variety of senior finance and commercial roles at Arcadia Group. Simon is a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from Henley Management College.
Chief Operating Officer
Ben co-founded MMT Digital in 1999 straight out of university. Under his leadership, MMT Digital has grown from a small, originally Midlands-only based agency, to opening a London office in 2005, and now one of the highest rated digital agencies in the UK by RAR (Recommended Agency Register) and ranked no4 in The Drum’s Digital Census Elite Agency Top 10.
Responsible for driving forward MMT Digital’s vision of helping clients transform business performance through digital, Ben has grown both revenue and headcount by 30% YoY over the last three years.
Senior Independent Non Executive Director
David is a qualified chartered accountant (FCA). As an audit partner at EY LLP from 1991 to 2015 he held positions as the Head of UK Entrepreneurial Services, UK IPO Leader and Bristol Office assurance partner. Additionally, he was a member of the UK firm’s Strategic Implementation Group. David is Non Executive Chairman of AIM quoted CH Bailey plc.
Non Executive Director
David was Head of Corporate Broking at Numis Securities Limited and Numis Corporation Plc, where he was an Executive Director until he stood down in February 2016. He started his career in commercial banking before becoming a number one ranked financials analyst at a number of leading firms including BZW, James Capel and UBS. In his 20 years as a corporate broker, David worked directly on the listings of over 30 companies and advised Be Heard at the time of its reverse into Mithril Capital plc in November 2015. He is Executive Chairman of Dowgate Capital Stockbrokers Limited.
Non Executive Chairman
David is CEO of Prospect Investment Management, Chairman of Maris Ltd and senior independent director of Record plc. He has been an investor in and director of several private and public companies including PayPoint plc, Venture Production plc, and Grupa Duon SA. David started his career in investment management at Industrial Commercial and Finance Corporation (now 3i), before joining Abingworth Management. Prior to founding Prospect, he spent time at Botts & Co and Blakeney Management.
Be Heard Partnership
53 Frith Street
London W1D 4SN
New business & general enquiries: +44 (0)20 3828 6269
Investor enquiries: +44 (0)20 3828 6269
10 Norwich Street
Details of nomad and key company advisers
Nominated adviser and broker:
1 Bartholomew Lane
Dowgate Capital Stockbrokers Limited
82 St John Street
Solicitors to the company:
20 Cursitor Street
Solicitors to the nominated adviser:
2 Swan Lane
55 Baker Street
Auditors to the company:
10 Queens Street Place
Shares Registrars Limited
17 West Street
Financial public relations
020 3727 1000