MBO completed at 35 year old marketing agency

Kirsty Scott and Neil Craven become joint managing directors

Directors Neil Craven and Kirsty Scott have undertaken a management buy-out at Leeds-based full-service construction marketing agency Harris Creative.

The news tops a successful year for the company, which also celebrates its 35th year in business in 2021. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Harris secured nine new clients over the past 12 months, including CMOStores.com, Axis Envelope Solutions, and CLD Fencing.

The MBO paves the way for long-standing former managing director and founder Jim Harris to exit the company, which he originally founded as an architectural photography practice in 1986. Since then, Harris Creative has enjoyed over three decades of sustained growth, adding graphic design, public relations, web design and development, social media management and videography to its services in line with increased client demand.

Craven, formerly design director, and Scott, who joined the company as PR director in 2017, will each hold the position of joint managing director, whilst PR account director Faye Harris-Frost will take on the role of head of PR, and digital developer Matt Bornshin becomes head of digital, joining head of social media Karla López Crowley in a newly-created leadership team.

Commenting on the MBO, Craven said: “The deal to set the MBO in motion was struck in March 2020, but with the UK then plunged immediately into the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, our focus shifted to managing crisis communications for all our clients, working to retain clients across all departments, and then proactively seeking new business to ensure the future growth of the company. I’m very proud to say that we achieved all of these goals, and we’re confident and excited about the future.”

Scott added: “Harris Creative is an agency that quite rightly prides itself on its inclusive, welcoming culture, and very soon after joining the company I knew that I had landed somewhere special. When we first began discussing the possibility of an MBO, I was certain from the off that it was the right decision for everyone. I’m very proud to be leading this exceptionally talented team, and I’m sure that Neil and I will take the company to new heights in the next five years and beyond.”

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