Rick McEvoy and Kate Richardson, managing partners of the Melbourne studio of award-winning brand design consultancy Elmwood, have completed a management buyout from its UK-based parent company.
After almost 40 years at the helm, Elmwood’s founder and majority shareholder Jonathan Sands OBE explained that now was an ideal time to hand on the baton: “Elmwood has been my life’s work. Back in 1989, I was also handed a similar opportunity to lead a management buyout [to acquire Elmwood].
“Having recently celebrated a big birthday and reflecting on the company’s achievements and strong current position, it felt like my job here is largely done.
“Last year Elmwood demerged its founding studio in Leeds in the UK and the Melbourne studio from the global business which is headquartered in London to allow each studio to be closer to their core clients and more focussed on their specific strengths.
“This decentralisation has proved hugely successful with all individual studios enjoying their most successful periods.”
Sands said he couldn’t be more pleased about McEvoy and Richardson leading the company’s Australian business into an exciting new phase of their journey: “Kate and Rick have effectively run the Melbourne studio independently within the group for the last couple of years, so they are perfectly credentialled to assume full managerial control the operations.
“They have worked hard for this opportunity, and I am truly delighted to be handing Elmwood’s Australian business over to them in the knowledge that they will take the business to another level and continue our legacy of success.”
He explained that the building of the Elmwood brand in Australia has been nearly two decades in the making: “It all started with just three colleagues who moved from the UK and one local client — Coles. Today, Elmwood is one of the most respected and successful brand agencies in Australia.
“Under Rick and Kate’s stewardship, Elmwood has enjoyed its most successful period.
“I must also add, I won’t be disappearing into the sunset quite yet, but I will be taking more of a backseat role as a non-executive consultant.
“I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to the wider Elmwood team who have all been fabulous colleagues to work with and I am truly proud of their talents and attitudes.”
McEvoy and Richardson’s combined backgrounds in the global creative industry include working on three continents and proven track records in leading people.
McEvoy said that he and Richardson, with ongoing support from Sands, are very excited about shaping the next chapter of the business together: It’s been incredibly rewarding to have grown our studio over the past few years and we’re immensely proud of our people and the amazing work we’re creating.”
Adds Richardson: “As we move forward, we will continue our focus on our team and clients and the increasingly diverse mix of work, always keeping effectiveness at our core.
“Our recent successes have bought such an energy and passion to the business and as a team we’re excited about our future.”
The Melbourne studio of Elmwood has a team of 30 and its client list includes Carman’s, Dairy Australia, Coles, Bulla and Nestle.
The studio has won multiple international design awards including an impressive collection of Gold Design Effectiveness Awards, a ‘Transform Asia’ best of show and a highly prized Cannes Lion amongst others.