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

The Trade Desk Founder Talks Connected TV, Netflix’s “Inevitable” Ad Future & More
  • Advertising
  • Technology

The Trade Desk Founder Talks Connected TV, Netflix’s “Inevitable” Ad Future & More

You may have seen him grace the stage earlier this month at Advertising Week in Sydney, and while he was Down Under, Jeff Green was kind enough to chew the fat with B&T. He’s the founder, CEO, and chairman of programmatic behemoth The Trade Desk (TTD), which in its latest earnings update revealed a 57 […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

Damien Terakes Joins Havas Media As Client Services Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Damien Terakes Joins Havas Media As Client Services Director

Havas Media Group has appointed Damien Terakes as client services director. Following multiple new business wins and continued agency growth, the position will see Terakes take on a senior management role across all Havas Media clients in Australia as well as several global accounts. Terakes has built an impressive media career, with more than 30 years’ experience as […]

Cindy Gallop’s Six Principles For Creating Experiences That Connect
  • Marketing

Cindy Gallop’s Six Principles For Creating Experiences That Connect

The inimitable Cindy Gallop returned to Australia this week to give a high-energy, 15-minute presentation at Adobe Symposium on the six key principles for creating experiences that connect.  According to the founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn,  these principles also apply to successful relationships in life as much as business. Without further ado, here they are (in her own words): […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Former Google Exec Joins HubSpot As APAC Managing Director
  • Technology

Former Google Exec Joins HubSpot As APAC Managing Director

HubSpot has appointed Ex-Googler Shahid Nizami as MD of the Asia Pacific region. In his new role, Shahid will be responsible for HubSpot’s performance across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and India and will be based in HubSpot’s Singapore office, working closely with the teams based in both Singapore and Sydney. Before joining HubSpot, Nizami led the […]

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team
  • Media

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team

Judging by the image, it seems Red Agency may have had no staff whatsoever prior to this hiring spree.

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine