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Carrie Rose

Rise at Seven MBO makes Carrie Rose 100% shareholder

Carrie Rose becomes 100% shareholder in Rise at Seven in debt-free buyout. Co-founder Stephen Kenwright exits. COO Nick Hussey becomes Managing Director. Key senior hires bolster the senior leadership team.

Rise at Seven, the search-first creative agency today announced a change in ownership, with Carrie Rose becoming 100% shareholder in the business.

The agency founded in 2019, which turns over £7m in revenue and over 250% growth in 2021/22, has been labelled the fastest growing agency with 90+ people across 4 offices and Carrie unveils plans for further growth with new Managing Director appointment. Rose started the business at 25 years old with Co-Founder Stephen Kenwright and today completes MBO.

Carrie will take full control of all Rise at Seven Group in the UK and US, and will continue to lead creative excellence and innovation within the business and industry. Carrie appoints Nick Hussey, formerly at McCann, Mother and Forever Beta, as Group Managing Director.

Nick has been serving as Chief Operations Officer and is a 30-year industry veteran who has held board-level leadership positions at agencies like McCann, Forever Beta, Mother, and Jaywing. Nick’s current operations role will expand to take on day-to-day leadership of the business.

Rise at Seven’s co-founder Stephen Kenwright, who started the agency with Carrie in 2019 and has served as Commercial Director, agrees to step down from the business and exit following his sabbatical leave. Initial investor is also bought out making Rose 100% owner.

Today Rise at Seven also announces new leadership, and investment in its senior strategy and search team.

The business says within the last 6 months they have been focusing on strengthening its strategic positioning bringing in industry leaders including Former Head of Ecommerce at Virgin Trains, Kristal Ireland, and Former SEO Director at MediaCom, Will O’hara, to head up search and strategy functions and attracting cross channel accounts for organic brand and SEO growth.

Carrie Rose, Founder of Rise at Seven said: “The Rise at Seven journey has been incredible to date and I couldn’t have done it without Stephen’s brilliant counsel and support. He and I started this as friends and I’m proud to say we will remain exactly that. He has been the most incredible, calm and inspirational support. He always dreamt of building one of the industry’s best creative agencies, and we did it. We did it together. I personally will miss working with him, as will all of the Rise team. He’ll always be part of the Rise family.”

“Now we embark on a new challenge for true global domination. It requires a fresh way of thinking and commercial direction. Nick has been appointed Managing Director, after taking the reins of the business in the last 12 months and taking us to new levels. We are starting to attract more senior talent and brands, with lofty ambitions for global growth and it means the agency has made a number of changes in recent months to build a truly global agency capable of multi-million £ accounts.

Expect a lot more news to come over the next few months with new director hires and global account wins.” She added.

Co-founder Stephen said, “Rise at Seven is and always will be very close to my heart as I have been a part of this agency seeing it become a once-in-a-generation agency business and it is because of the people and the clients that make Rise unique.

What we achieved in three years is nothing short of miraculous, being named Best Large Agency Globally at multiple industry-leading awards including Search, PR, Content and Social but what the business needs now is a new direction to guide it through the next phase of its expansion plans.

Appointing Nick as Managing Director allows me to pass the reins to one of the best agency operations persons in advertising I know, and allow him and Carrie to truly disrupt search and advertising. I wish Carrie all the luck in the world and I will continue cheering every win.”

Rose reveals a new era for the agency, stating “Nick and I will be working together on ambitious plans around M&A, expanding the Rise at Seven group even further and putting the infrastructure in place to deliver industry leading work. As a privately owned company we are creative, innovative and agile – this style of approach to our work will continue under the new ownership as we take the business forward.”

In addition, Rise at Seven announced it is investing in its senior strategic and search team with two major appointments.

Kristal Ireland joins as Executive Director and will be managing all of Rise’s strategic and search service offerings, including content strategy, data and SEO. Kristal brings a wealth of senior brand and digital strategy, SEO and commercial experience to Rise at Seven. As Head of Ecommerce and technology for Virgin Trains, Kristal was responsible for the commercial strategy and digital footprint for one of the UK’s busiest and most successful travel brands. Prior to joining Rise at Seven Kristal was the Digital Director for UK Coaching, the UK’s national sports coaching charity where she led the marketing, digital and technology teams, more than trebling digital revenue for the organisation throughout the pandemic. Kristal joins Nick and Dave Bennett, Communications Director, on the Rise board of directors.

Will O’Hara joins as Digital Strategy Director and will work across all channels with a focus on search, content, data & insights. Will joins Rise with a search & SEO background that spans over 20 years, with hands on and senior experience across a wide range of verticals. In previous roles as Head of SEO and SEO Director during eight years at MediaCom, Will worked with major brands such as Co-op, William Hill, Haven and Save the Children. Prior to joining Rise, Will worked at D2C and ecommerce platform provider THG as Organic Performance Director – overseeing the SEO, content and digital PR teams.

Carrie said: “I’m honoured to have two respected industry leaders like Kristal and Will joining us at Rise at Seven. Under their leadership we’ll be able to take our world-beating strategy and search offering to a new level, investing in people and innovations to ensure we stay ahead of the industry.”

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Carrie Rose
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