Elmwood picks Interbrand CEO Daniel Binns for Global CEO role


Elmwood, the global design consultancy owned by MSQ, has appointed industry heavyweight Daniel Binns as its new Global CEO, to help the agency deliver on its international ambitions and cement its position as one of the industry’s foremost creative design businesses.

Daniel Binns

Binns joins Elmwood from Interbrand, where he’d spent more than a decade as part of the global leadership team, most recently as Chief Executive of Interbrand North America and as Global Chief Growth Officer, where he ran new business and marketing across 13 offices.

Prior to Interbrand he was the Founding Partner of global research and strategy boutique, The Leading Edge, and previously spent 18 years at McCann Worldgroup, running offices and global client teams in London, New York, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Brussels during his near two-decade stretch.

As Interbrand’s North America CEO he led the agency to win 40 major global creative awards, helping the business achieve over 50% growth in the past four years alone, and landing key new business from brands including GE, Google, American Express, Nissan, PayPal, Verizon, and Prudential.

Binns’ appointment by Elmwood underlines the studio’s ambition to deliver world-class design-led creativity and strategic thinking to global clients and national brand leaders.

The studio already has over 250 people in 4 studios working in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai, and developing work for the likes of Mars, Wrigley, Heineken, Haleon, Kimberly-Clark, Danone, CVS Health and Colgate-Palmolive.

Based in New York, Binns will oversee Elmwood’s global growth strategy and creative innovation agenda, as well as fostering greater integration between each studio and uniting the business around a new global vision for design-led, creative transformation.

He will also work closely with Elmwood’s parent company, MSQ, which acquired Elmwood in December 2021 and successfully merged the studio with its own existing design consultancy, Holmes & Marchant to create a new international strategic design company.

Binns will take up his new role in February, reporting directly to MSQ’s Executive Director, Bart Michels, and working closely with Elmwood’s Non-Executive Chair, Steve Gatfield.

He will lead a multi-talented leadership team at Elmwood, which includes Elmwood Asia chief Paul Galesloot, London agency MD Sue Knowles, newly appointed Elmwood Shanghai MD Angeline Kong, Elmwood Singapore MD Celeste Cheong, and New York MD Nulty White.

Last year Elmwood made two further additions to its global team, hiring Kristin Nevin as Global Client Partner and Abi Main as Global CFO.

“I’ve always admired the uniquely creative power of the Elmwood business and its passionate and talented designers, strategists and client leaders”, said Binns.

“It’s clear that clients really value the design excellence and strong partnership that Elmwood brings. The potential to help innovate and grow this business even further, together with our studios and clients, was irresistible.

“And to do this as part of the dynamic, tech-enabled and creative stable of the fast-growing MSQ group of companies, makes it all the more interesting.”

Bart Michels, Executive Director of MSQ, said: “We’ve been looking at the right global leadership approach for a newly integrated international Elmwood era, and in Daniel we’ve found a rare global design industry talent to help lead this growth journey.

“His obvious passion for strategy, design and creativity more broadly, combined with the fact that he is a truly global citizen, make him an excellent choice to lead Elmwood, its clients and its people to an exciting new design industry leadership position.”