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Hires, Wins & Business

Ben Stephens to Join Stack as Executive Chairman, 2 years, 9 months ago

Stephens was previously Managing Partner at VCCP me

Ben Stephens to Join Stack as Executive Chairman

MSQ Partners, the leading employee-controlled marketing communications group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Stephens as Executive Chairman of Stack, the Group’s award-winning integrated agency, with immediate effect.

Ben will have overall responsibility for the agency’s strategy and operations and have a particular remit in looking to identify and exploit opportunities to bring the agency’s modern data, CRM and digital capabilities to bear for clients across the group.

Stack, formerly CMW, has been one of the leading direct agencies in the UK since its inception in the mid-nineties and works with clients that include Beiersdorf, Canon, Citroen and Peugeot across the range of customer-related activities.  

Stephens founded Stephens Francis Whitson (SFW) in partnership with VCCP in 2005. Its clients included Channel 4, More Than, House of Fraser, The O2 and First Drinks Brands, and it won over 50 industry awards for Effectiveness and Creativity.

In 2013 he led SFW into the merger with Tree, the data consultancy, to form VCCPme, and by the time he departed the agency this summer the client roster also included Kia Motors, Go Ahead Group, News UK and Royal London.  

Prior to founding SFW he was Managing Director of Rapier and CEO of Tequila.

Following on from Ben’s appointment, Liz Wilson, CEO of Stack will be stepping down from the agency at the end of January following more than three years leading the agency and overseeing the transition from CMW to Stack. 

Peter Reid, CEO of MSQ Partners commented, "We are delighted to welcome Ben to the Group.  He is one of the leading lights of the direct industry, and we felt uniquely placed both to drive the next stage in Stack’s development and to exploit the numerous direct and customer opportunities that exist for the agency, both within and outside the Group.  At the same time, we are all extremely grateful to Liz for her contribution to the agency and to the Group over the past three years and wish her well for the future.”

Stephens says of his new appointment, "I'm delighted to be joining Stack. I have inevitably competed with the agency over the years and thoroughly respect its direct and digital heritage and skills, and its creative reputation. I look forward to leading it in the next stage of its development. What's more you can't help but be impressed by the journey MSQ has taken since their MBO in 2011, and look forward to forming partnerships with the other agencies in the group."

Liz Wilson added: "I have really enjoyed building Stack's culture and proposition and broadening the agency's expertise across the many aspects of modern customer engagement. But now is the time to refocus on the business's core skills of CRM and data and it makes sense to pass on the leadership baton to achieve that."