The BD100 partners with The Drum to recognise the leading lights of business development

The BD100 will recognise the very best in UK new business developers

New business development professionals are to be recognised and celebrated later this year for the important role they play in the media and marketing industry with the launch of a new initiative called the BD100.

Business development is often an agency’s biggest challenge and can be the difference between commercial success and failure. So, to recognise the work of the talent driving new business in UK marketing, Jody Osman, founder of Upfront Business Development, and Richard McHardy, founder of The McHardy Collective, recently launched the BD100 initiative and have already received more than 300 nominations from a wide range of agencies, both small independents through to the large networks.

Over the coming weeks those nominees will post highlights of their past 12 months' business development achievements to the BD100 website, including the most memorable wins alongside insights, tips and best practice approach. Then it will be down to a public online vote to see who makes the final BD100.

Public voting will open on 4 May and close on 1 June. Those that make the top 100 will feature in The BD100 annual directory and will also be announced at an exclusive event taking place later this year, providing an opportunity to network and celebrate the business development sector and the talent within it.

The partnership with The Drum will see BD100 positioned as a sponsor of The Drum’s Pitch Perfect conference - a full day of new business development insights and advice taking place later this Summer - with all BD100 nominees receiving a special offer on tickets to attend that event.

Jody Osman, managing director at Upfront Business Development, said: “We all know how important new business is to the success of any agency. However, when you enjoy a consistently healthy pipeline and regular wins, it’s easy to take for granted just how much has had to go into achieving this. We believe it’s time to recognise all the great Business Developers, who are out there every day driving agency growth.”

Richard McHardy, founder at The McHardy Collective said: “Ecosystems are defined as 'communities of living organisms interacting with their physical environment' and in my opinion the UK's creative agency ecosystem would simply not contribute as greatly as it does to the UK economy if it weren't for the talents and hard work of our army of business developers. The BD100 will be a vehicle, a club, a beacon and importantly a mechanism for recognition for the business development profession and we'll create our own micro-ecosystem of partners, collaborators and sponsors to bring the idea alive. The Drum puts creative agencies and business developers at the heart of its editorial, campaigns, social content and events and therefore is the perfect media partner."

Speaking of The Drum's involvement in the first ever BD100 Fergus Gregory, commercial director at The Drum, added: “The Drum has long supported the business development community through initiatives such as the Recommended Agency Register (RAR) and The Drum Network, so when we first heard about The BD100, we thought ‘why didn’t we think of this?’ It is a fabulous community of creative and entrepreneurial professionals and The Drum is pleased to be supporting and championing all the great business developers out there. It’s about time they received they credit the deserve.”

Osman launched Upfront in 2005 following a successful career in new business, winning accounts with the likes of Coca-Cola, BT and Adidas. He still plays a hands-on role in the business as managing director and has been involved in helping agencies win over £150m in new business.

McHardy founded The McHardy Collective in 2012 as a way to bring his extensive agency and brand contacts - built up over a 15 year career working in business development with international agencies including WPP - together.

Other organisations supporting the BD100 initiative include DNA, Kiwi Gray and Tonic Creative Business Partners.

For further information contact Roya Sanei at Upfront Business Development on 020 3861 4450 or visit The BD100 website.

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