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Marketing Mergers and Acquisitions Stack

MSQ merges MBA and Stack to bulk up customer experience offering


By John Glenday | Reporter

March 17, 2021 | 4 min read

MSQ has subsumed MBA within its customer acquisition and engagement business, Stack, after acquiring the digital agency for an undisclosed sum.


MSQ merges MBA and Stack to bulk up customer experience offering

The combined agency will be known as MBAstack and employ 50 specialists focussing on data insight, smart technology and creativity as tools to leverage the commercial interests of clients.

MSQ’s latest acquisition

  • MBAstack is positioned as a fleet of foot entrepreneurial collective able to enable their clients to keep pace with an often bewildering e-commerce scene by delivering a blend of ’informed imagination’.

  • Led by MBA founder Stephen Maher, the combined entity includes former Stack MD Nicola Nimmo, who carries forward the same role to the new business and MBA managing partner James Middlehurst, who also retains his title post-merger.

  • Maher said: “... with this move, we'll have even more collective firepower to generate powerful solutions for brands.“

  • Nimmo added: “By being restless and rigorous we’ll offer new, nimble ways to acquire customers – and keep them engaged”.

  • By pooling resources, MBAstack will boast a combined revenue of £6m drawn from a client list of big hitters such as HM Government, PSA Groupe and Royal Mail.

  • In coming together, MBAstack will seek to build on the established reputation of both agencies in the digital and customer engagement sphere to create a business that is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Founded in 1995 when it was known as Clark McKay Walpole, Stack appointed Nimmo as MD in November of last year and saw its work for Solace Women's Aid credited by Twitter as one of the finest uses of its platform in 2020.

Anything else?

  • MSQ has been on a shopping spree, having already purchased marketing communications group Be Heard last September.

  • That deal brought the likes of MMT Digital, Freemavens and Agenda21 into MSQ’s orbit, turbocharging its tech and insight capabilities at a stroke.

  • This laid the groundwork for the establishment of MSQ B2B in February, a unified ’super group’ of nine agencies promising to upend the established business to business agency model by delivering end-to-end creative, tech and data-led marketing capabilities at scale.

  • With this latest acquisition under its belt, MSQ now commands 850 people across nine agencies, operating from 12 offices around the world.

  • This rapid growth has been complemented by a series of new appointments such as Morgan Cox as the groups first head of dynamic content and production and Rob Goodwin as its first chief data officer.

Marketing Mergers and Acquisitions Stack

Content created with:

MSQ Partners

MSQ is a leading tech-enabled marketing group, helping businesses build emotionally intelligent brands to attract, convert, retain and grow valuable customers. It’s one of the fastest growing marketing groups in the UK, offering flexibility, choice and transparency to clients. These clients include Unilever, PSA Groupe, Vodafone, Mondelez, BP, HM Government and Elanco.

MSQ’s agencies incorporate Freemavens (research & insights), Holmes & Marchant (branding & design), MMT Digital (Web & Digital Product Development), Smarts (PR and content), Stack (customer acquisition), Stein IAS (B2B marketing), The Gate (creative and media), Walk-In Media/agenda21 (full-service media) and twentysix (full-service digital). Clients can work with an MSQ agency on an individual basis, or with a joined-up team designed specifically around their needs.

Over 750 people work at MSQ across 12 global offices. Unique to an international group of its scale and reach, more than 60 senior employees are all shareholders in the group. This creates a culture of collaboration, with shared beliefs, methodologies and efficiencies.

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