UK-based consulting firm BrandCap opens an office in New York

08 July 2016

BrandCap, a London-based business consultancy, has opened an office in New York, its first oversees practice. David Martin, industry stalwart and former Interbrand President, will act as Chairman of the new US office.

Founded in 2013, by Manfred Abraham, who formerly headed Interbrand’s consulting team, BrandCap is a consulting firm that operates at the intersection of branding, design, digital and management consultancy (coined ‘next generation business consultancy’ by Abraham. The London-based firm supports clients with a range of offerings, including strategy, brand architecture, visual identity, digital execution, customer experience, employee engagement and training, and consumer insights and foresight. 

Over the past three years BrandCap has grown rapidly in the UK, becoming one of the few organisations in the country that has achieved ‘scale up’ business status (less than 1% manage to do so), and, on the back of its ‘proven approach’, the firm has decided to expand its wings into the US. The new office, based in New York – according to a recent A.T. Kearney study the world’s second most attractive city for business, trailing just London – will be headed by David Martin, the former President of Interbrand New York. “In all my years in the industry I have never come across a more strategic and creative group of people,” reflects Martin. “I’m delighted to be involved with this exciting venture and have no doubt that business success will be instantaneous. We can’t wait to replicate our unique approach in the US and help more American brands achieve sustainable business growth.” 

UK-based consulting firm BrandCap opens an office in New York

Martin has been tasked with driving the strategic direction of the practice, business development and building an on the ground team and track record. He will also have a client-facing role at key accounts. The US head will be supported by Ryan Arshad, a Director at BrandCap in London, who will relocate to New York as Managing Director. Arshad will also be client facing and responsible for the day-to-day running of the business including recruitment, new business and team leadership. CEO Abraham will support both from the UK.

“The US market is obviously much larger than the UK and more complex, but it is full of opportunity and is open to a new way of working,” comments Arshad on the potential, but also challenges that lie ahead. BrandCap will however not start from scratch in the US (an industry valued at $55 billion) – the consultancy already has a number of longstanding client relationships in the market including Frontgate (part of Cornerstone, Carlson Rezidor, Fruit of the Loom, Spalding and Russell Athletic. 

Earlier this month another London-based consultancy, Brickendon Consulting, a financial services specialist, also opened an office in New York.


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”