The Grey Group is making a move on the consultancy sector with the launch of the Grey Consulting operation.
The consultancy - which will bring together 150 professionals across the world - will be lead by Leo Rayman, currently chief executive at Grey London.
On the new proposition Rayman said Grey will “go beyond traditional consulting” due to the group’s “analytical rigour with lateral creative thinking and an understanding of how to make things happen to accelerate growth for clients”.
He went on to tell The Drum: "Clients are asking for help and thinking that goes beyond [marketing] communications. We’ve always been able and willing to provide it but now we’re making it a more concentrated offering. It's allowing us to codify the know-how we have, weaponise our creativity by marrying it with even more commercial strategy and bring together our people in new ways.
"We can provide answers to the kinds of questions clients ask long before they get to defining the creative brief. Grey has always been a powerful partner to its clients, with good senior access. Now, we can bring more value to those conversations, more assistance in answering the questions that are being raised increasingly in every business around the world."
Grey counts Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg's, Pfizer, Canon, NFL, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Nestlé, Walgreens, Applebee’s and T.J. Maxx among its clients.
Rayman stressed that the necessity to move into consultancy, he said, was driven by client demand. "As our world changes and our industry redefines its business model, there is so much opportunity for the combination of critical thinking multiplied by a more creative mindset.
"That said, we can learn from the consultancies, the way they package their thought leadership, build processes that can be replicated and charge for outcomes not hours."
Suresh Nair will serve as chief creative intelligence officer, working closely with Rayman and WPP.
Michael Houston, worldwide chief of Grey Group branded the consultancy as “a key part of [the] agenda for Grey's future growth and competitiveness”.
"Our practice will go beyond traditional consulting. We will combine analytical rigour with lateral creative thinking and an understanding of how to make things happen to accelerate growth for clients," he added.
It will now have a wider skillset to bring to the table during pitches for new clients and work.
The hunt for Rayman’s successor as chief executive is underway.
It comes after fellow WPP agency J Walter Thompson launched a new consultancy for food and beverage brands called Canteen just last month.
Its UK chief executive James Whitehead noted the similar rising demand for “upstream consultancy offerings”.