After leaving Engine's brand experience agency Slice after four years as joint managing directors, Rutter and Braun have today (19 January) launched Muster, a new brand experience agency, under The & Partnership, a WPP-backed independent agency holding company.
Event spoke to the pair at their new office within The & Partnership in London about how the agency's ethos, how it came about and their future plans.
Q. How did you both meet?
Rutter: Alec and I met when we both started working at Jack Morton in 2004, which is where we learned our trade and were lucky enough to work on a wide range of huge international events there. We got to a point where we hit a ceiling and we wanted our own autonomy. The opportunity arose to take over Slice in 2012 and we redefined the agency's proposition and purpose. In that time we delivered Slice's most successful financial year ever and won highly commended at the Event Awards for Brand Experience Agency of the Year. Slice was never ours though and we wanted to create something of our own from scratch. Alec and I are also best friends outside of work and we're godparents to each other's children.
Q. How did this venture with The & Partnership come about?
Braun: After four years and a half years at Slice, we were hungry for the next stage of our careers and we wanted to continue to work together. We’ve been at one of the biggest agencies (Jack Morton), we’ve transformed one of the most well known agencies (Slice) but we wondered what might be next so we put the feelers out. Johnny Hornby is a visionary in his field and is always looking for opportunities to diversify The & Partnership’s offer, and they didn’t have live events or brand experience as part of that. So we thought it was a perfect opportunity to go in, start a conversation with him and over several months, educate and inspire him in terms of what we could do, and how we could best help with the other agencies in the group, and how they could help ourselves in terms of bringing those new clients in.
Q. What will be your immediate focus over the coming months?
Rutter: Short-term, we need to establish ourselves internally first. We’re not taking over an existing business - we are starting from scratch. We want to establish our ethos of unmissable internally within The & Partnership. By the end of year one I’d like us to be front of mind when people are wanting to create something different and an experience that reaches far more than the people who are lucky enough to attend.
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