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HeyHuman regroups around partnership structure as owner Hutton Collins shuts agency group function

Creative agency HeyHuman will be led by a partnership team of its senior management executives following owner Hutton Collins' decision to axe its group operation and let the agencies run themselves.

It sees HeyHuman’s client and strategy director Neil Davidson, business development director Helen Weisinger, creative director Shnoosee Bailey and finance and operations director Tim Morrow take on managing partner roles.

As part of the changes, HeyHuman’s client services director of Liz Richardson moves over to sister agency Closer as its managing partner. There will be no impact on the final part of the Hutton Collins’ triumvante Brave, which will continue to be run by managing partner Ash Bendelow though he will be looking to expand its creative and planning offering.

HeyHuman’s rejig aims to channel the people-first approach the agency’s work is predicated on inwards, particularly when it comes to gender equality. HeyHuman is one of the few creative agencies that has a equal split of men and women on its shareholder board, while its creative director is a women – a rarity in adland.

Along with HeyHuman’s management team, Brave and Closer will also report to the shareholder board chaired by non-executive chairman Rupert Howell.

The structural shift stems from private equity company Hutton Collins’ decision to let its agencies stand on their own two feet. The group operation helped the three agencies establish themselves in a crowded market after they were acquired in 2012 and now they are ready to shape their own strategies. To that end, group chief executive Simon Marshall, executive creative director Bo Hellberg and HeyHuman’s managing director Alex Young are all leaving the business.

Hugo Varney, partner at Hutton Collins, said: “The group operation championed the three agencies at a time of business transition. All three agencies have been re-purposed and reimagined for the 21st century. Simon and Bo were brought in as CEO and ECD to shepherd this process through. They’ve done a fantastic job. Now that has been achieved, it’s time to launch Hey Human, Brave and Closer as stand-alone forces.”

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