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Five veteran industry hands have founded growth consultancy Now Next Why, which aims to help boost independent ad agencies.

The consultancy has been founded by Paul Woolley (formerly chief operating officer of Omnicom), Adam Rubins (former chief exec of Way To Blue), Owen Catto (formerly executive creative director at Twelve Agency), Stephen Knight (formerly senior vice-president of The Walt Disney Company) and Brett Norton (a former chief commericial officer within the hospitality sector).

Launching with clients such as Brazil St, Integrity, Cirkle PR and The Barton Partnership, the consultancy aims to offer a holistic growth advisory – covering both strategic positioning and the culture of an agency as it grows.

Woolley told The Drum: “To maximize the potential of a business, you need to look at everything from culture to commercials. It’s not enough to focus on one in isolation. We’re investing the breadth and depth of our knowledge into the future success of our industry, allowing more agencies to achieve their maximum potential while simultaneously taking care of the people involved and their mental health.”

Rubins said: “It can be a lonely and mentally challenging place when scaling a business, and as founders who have all run, sold or acquired businesses, we know too well just how tough that can be personally as well as professionally. Using our experience, Now Next Why provides that much-needed structure and support so the process of building, scaling and exiting is a more mindfully wholesome one.”

The consultancy will offer indie agencies the services of 15 advisors, covering IP, finance, board advisory, personal mentoring and acquisition strategies.

Knight said: “Brands need independent agencies, now more than ever. Their leaner, more nimble set-ups provided the flexibility needed throughout the pandemic, and will no doubt continue to need in the future. That said, in order for the work to thrive, the agency needs to be able to support the growth of the brand and any others they onboard, while maintaining a positive internal culture.

“Without solid foundations and a clear vision on where they’re going next, agency growth can be stunted, internal culture can get messy and brands don’t get the best work. Our mission is to enable independent agencies to thrive, realize and maximize their true potential in a way that’s emotionally, commercially and creatively more rewarding for everyone involved.”