Behind the doors of… The Leach Partnership

Behind the doors of… The Leach Partnership
SHARE
THIS



Business consultants to advertising and marketing agencies, William and Sangeeta Leach, tell Edwina Storie why planning is essential for a creative business to flourish. 

In the creative industry, we tend to focus so much on clients’ problems and ensuring their business flourishes that we neglect our own.”

That observation by Sangeeta Leach led her and her husband William to set up The Leach Partnership back in 2005.

“The partnership has an ambition to get industry-wide recognition that business planning can really support a creative industry,” she adds.

The Leaches guide creative agencies in becoming future-proof, whether that be developing into a multinational or remaining a sustainable local agency.

The pair assist new agencies with teething problems, help established organisations solve management issues, and guide mergers and acquisitions as creative businesses decide it’s time to move up or out.

The idea of the business advisory company had been brewing before its 2005 beginnings. William spent 25 years in creative companies and was the youngest managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi, where he and Sangeeta met. She had also worked for JWT, St Luke’s and Accenture, where she oversaw the change management of high profile government projects.

Throughout their careers they had each worked through major business issues of both their clients and their companies. Noticing a lack of insight and consulting specific to the creative industries, they began to develop The Leach Partnership.

 “We guessed there was a market, but we didn’t know,” recalls Sangeeta.

A design agency hoping to sell the business was their first client. William guided the team while Sangeeta worked behind the scenes. Within six months the agency had doubled its value.

With the first project’s success, they established the business name and took a gamble on the new career leap. “There wasn’t a back-up plan,” says Sangeeta. “It just had to work.”

The couple embarked on a two-year trial period and quickly saw The Leach Partnership grow. Eight years on, they now help creative companies plan for a successful future, whether that be looking two or 10 years ahead.

The work

According to the Leaches, creative agencies often neglect to plan for their own business’ future. 

They say there are predictable issues most agencies will experience as they expand.

“It’s easy for a manager to be across all issues when there are up to 10 employees,” William says. “But once you get between 10 to 25, and larger still, some interesting management issues arise because you can no longer be across everything. Leadership versus management is something we come up against over and over again as people mistake the two roles.”

William notes that many people get into senior management roles for being good at their job, as opposed to being good at managing business. They might get some limited training but it’s often been designed by the foreign headquarters and not specific to an Australian market.

Along with the growing pains of a team, some businesses can experience the souring of relationships, causing the company to lose focus and direction.

While William and Sangeeta were working for Saatchi & Saatchi in South Africa (he was CEO and she was strategic planning director), they noticed a cultural disconnect in the team after the fall of apartheid. To combat the issue, they brought in industrial psychologists to understand the reasons behind this and to establish a solution.

“If I asked people what was wrong they would only tell me what they thought I wanted to hear, as opposed to the actual issue,” says William.

Sangeeta explains that, when approaching client problems, they establish themselves as “outside insiders”. “We’re close enough to understand the company’s issues but not close enough to lose our objectivity.”

A major aspect of The Leach Partnership’s work is mergers and acquisitions, and they often encourage successful smaller agencies to consider buying as opposed to selling.

“It used to be that you built an agency to sell to a multinational, but a traditional agency model is no longer as valuable, so those opportunities are less sought-after,” William explains. “We hope to help companies understand that they don’t have to sell to make money, but you can buy.”

The philosophy

William and Sangeeta aim to show that business planning is essential for a creative agency to flourish. “Businesses are attracted to profitable businesses,” says William.

“Throughout Saatchi & Saatchi’s history, it had a reputable profile which attracted a lot of clients. The combination of brilliant work with a successful profile is unstoppable.”

The Leaches aim to take the stigma out of business planning and show, instead, that it creates a flourishing creative industry.

The future

The Leach Partnership’s future harks back to its history, with both Sangeeta and William having worked internationally. They hope to take their expertise worldwide, with several international projects already in the works.

Their Agency of the Future program has seen them work with major multinational companies along with smaller struggling agencies to find the pivotal elements that ensure a creative business is sustainable and future-proof.

“A strong creative business planned for the future leads to greater opportunities,” William says. “And being passionate advocates of creativity. That’s an important element we can contribute to in helping agencies flourish.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

Social media marketer Socialbakers has unveiled its latest Social Media Marketing Trends report that will do little to allay fears ad dollars are continuing to flood to the likes of Facebook and Instragram. Commenting on the report, Socialbakers’ CEO, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, said: “While Facebook has made a lot of changes in the first quarter of […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Greenpeace UK’s ‘Ocean Of The Future’ Highlights A Disturbing Reality
  • Campaigns

Greenpeace UK’s ‘Ocean Of The Future’ Highlights A Disturbing Reality

Advertising and marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather created a global campaign for Greenpeace UK pro-bono, which underlines what our oceans will look like if plastic production continues at its current rate. The film follows a group of schoolchildren on an excursion, each excited to see a multitude of aquatic species like penguins, otters and catfish. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PokerStars Unveils New Spot Starring The Perfect Poker Face
  • Campaigns

PokerStars Unveils New Spot Starring The Perfect Poker Face

Parisian agency Romance has created a new 50-second video for PokerStars that reaches out to poker newbies by stating “you’re already a great poker player”. The campaign aims to encourage new users to sign up online and the actor’s convincing straight face highlights multiple everyday scenarios where we all mask our true feelings. Romain Roux, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Subaru Goes to The Dogs In Witty New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Subaru Goes to The Dogs In Witty New Campaign

Subaru’s family of dogs the Barkleys, are the stars of the ‘Dog tested. Dog approved’ video campaign comprised of four thirty-second videos formed by US creative agency Carmichael Lynch. The first video follows the family of a labrador and golden retrievers as they visit the doggy-run car wash. The following videos showcase teen Barkley attempting […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Three Things To Know Before Starting Your Very Own Agency
  • Opinion

Three Things To Know Before Starting Your Very Own Agency

Who hasn’t thought of chucking in their job to start their very own agency? Well, in this guest column, author of the Unlikely Entrepreneur, Alan Manly (pictured below), gives his top tips for anyone contemplating doing just that… Just talking about starting a business can be exciting. Those interesting characters constantly on the lookout for a business opportunity […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
NZ Digital Outdoor Specialist LUMO Appoints WeThinkMedia As Exclusive Aussie Advertising Rep
  • Advertising
  • Media

NZ Digital Outdoor Specialist LUMO Appoints WeThinkMedia As Exclusive Aussie Advertising Rep

New Zealand specialist digital outdoor media business LUMO has announced it has selected WeThinkMedia as its exclusive Australian advertising representative. LUMO offers digital billboard technologies in premier locations across New Zealand. Its large-format LED displays and smart features include branded WiFi, beacons, integrated content management systems, web browsing advertising, and real-time traffic analysis. By November, […]

BWM Dentsu Group Launches Groundbreaking Voice Cloning Program ‘Project Revoice’
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

BWM Dentsu Group Launches Groundbreaking Voice Cloning Program ‘Project Revoice’

Creative agency BWM Dentsu and its PR arm, Haystac, have unveiled a new voice cloning initiative with the ALS Association in the US and MND Australia. ‘Project Revoice’ introduces a breakthrough in speech technology for people living with ALS (motor neuron disease), enabling those who lose the ability to talk to continue speaking in their […]

Woman legs and shopping bags holding in hands.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why Retail Is A Work Of Complete Friction

Do you often use the term 'frictionless shopping'? Well, give yourself a quick squirt of WD-40 and get reading here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Lifeline Australia Chooses Indy Agency Robyn&Leon To Develop Comms & Brand Strategy
  • Marketing

Lifeline Australia Chooses Indy Agency Robyn&Leon To Develop Comms & Brand Strategy

Following a competitive pitch, independent Melbourne agency Robyn&Leon has been selected to develop a new communications and brand strategy for Lifeline Australia. Robyn & Leon’s remit will include working on Lifeline’s emerging SMS-based crisis support and suicide prevention service. Lifeline Australia CEO Bob Gilkes said the national charity, which was established in 1963, would benefit […]

WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell Steps Down
  • Advertising

WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell Steps Down

The CEO of the world’s largest ad agency network, Sir Martin Sorrell, has stepped down from his post, effective immediately. Sorrell’s resignation from WPP comes after the company announced an investigation into “alleged personal misconduct” against him. “The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded,” a statement by WPP […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sky News Unveils New Sunday Night Line-Up
  • Media

Sky News Unveils New Sunday Night Line-Up

Sky News has announced the debut of a new Sunday night line-up that will see the launch of a national affairs program and the return of Paul Murray LIVE. Leading political commentator and associate editor of The Australian, Chris Kenny, is back on Sky News as anchor of Kenny on Sunday, a new two-hour program […]