Elmwood hires new MD for New York to drive its global growth

Former Dragon Rouge and Design Bridge exec, Emma Godfrey, to spearhead the studio’s ambitious US expansion strategy

Global design consultancy Elmwood has appointed Emma Godfrey as its Managing Director in New York, in a critical hire for the MSQ-owned creative studio as it gears up for a new stage of US-led global growth.

Emma Godfrey – Managing Director , Elmwood New York

With a career spanning 20 years at the forefront of brand strategy and design, Emma joins Elmwood from global agency Dragon Rouge, where she was NY Managing Director. Prior to that, she held high-profile roles as Business Director at WPP’s Design Bridge and Partners, and was Vice President at Kantar Consulting.

Emma’s leadership experience has seen her partner with multinational clients such as Diageo, Mondelēz, LifeScan and Reckitt to drive customer acquisition and the delivery of award-winning creative projects. Having worked across a wide range of CPG, healthcare, corporate and enterprise projects, her breadth of insight will be pivotal to advancing Elmwood’s growth at a key moment for the studio.

In her new role starting this month, Emma will report directly to Global CEO Daniel Binns to oversee Elmwood’s US expansion, following a year of bumper growth for the New York Studio’s industry-leading team. Her appointment underscores the scale of Elmwood’s US ambitions over the next three years.

Daniel Binns said, “Emma’s hybrid experience in leadership, brand strategy, insights and business development make her the ideal addition to our NY team, as we pursue a new chapter of US-led expansion at Elmwood. We will work together to develop the North America market as our – and MSQ’s – most important region of growth.”

With major clients including Mars, Haleon, Heineken, Kenvue, Reckitt, Kimberly Clark and Unilever, and the backing of its parent company, MSQ, Elmwood is ideally positioned to grow its unique strategic design consultancy model. Emma will be tasked with taking the NY business to the next level, expanding both its service offer and its client base.

Elmwood has over 250 people working in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai, and Emma’s appointment will complete its heavyweight leadership suite. Led by Daniel as CEO, this includes, London agency MD Sue Knowles, Shanghai MD Angeline Kong and Singapore MD Celeste Cheong. Elmwood recently also hired Kristin Nevin as Global Client Partner, Kam White as Global Head of People and Abi Main as Global CFO.

Based in New York, Emma will work closely with Daniel to propel strategic growth and business development; both within Elmwood and the wider MSQ group. Following its 2021 acquisition by MSQ, the pair will be able to collaborate with MSQ’s roster of partner agencies to expand Elmwood’s capabilities and clients.

Emma Godfrey said, “Elmwood has been an agency that I’ve admired ever since I started my career 20 years ago. Like many people in the industry, I’ve long been aware of the studio’s nurturing and supportive culture. And I’ve also been blown away by the standard of its strategic creative work. I can’t wait to build on this success trajectory within Elmwood’s New York and global teams, as we explore the huge opportunities ahead in the US market. 

“Elmwood has a unique advantage right now. We can tap into the structure of a boutique-style, independent studio, with the added support of MSQ’s vast network of international marketing agencies. The ability to partner with MSQ is particularly exciting given its expertise in tech-enabled and AI-focused branding. This will help position us at the forefront as we look to enrich our global client base.”

“We’re thrilled to add Emma to MSQ’s fast growing North American leadership team,” said MSQ North America President, Aaron Lang. “She brings the perfect blend of vision, expertise and partnership that our unique client model is built upon. This is a great hire for us, and we’re excited for all that she brings to the business.”

Source: Elmwood

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