1. Johnny Hornby
OK, like most of the people on this list, Hornby is much more than a suit – but the CHI & Partners founder is an account man to his bones. And now his mercurial talents are increasingly in demand far beyond the UK.
2. Nicola Mendelsohn
Just where does she find the time and energy? That’s what admirers of the Karmarama chairman and IPA president are likely to wonder as Mendelsohn strides from industry event to agency pitch and on to client meeting. Her smooth networking skills and determination have proved a big asset to her agency, while her agenda at the IPA has won her friends across the industry.
3. Robert Senior
For clients who like a bit of bite in their agency relationships, the Saatchi & Saatchi Europe chief executive is the consummate suit. By turns charming and hilarious, Senior can also be painfully sardonic and moves at a pace that may not be to the taste of everyone. One thing is for sure, though – his intelligence, combined with a fierce passion for making the agency-client relationship great, makes him a formidable character.
4. Tom Knox
One of the true gents of advertising, Knox has built some of the strongest client relationships around while also working hard to improve DLKW Lowe’s offer. He has relished working with the new creative directors, Dave Henderson and Richard Denney, as the agency builds its creative standards around a stable client base.
5. Mark Lund
As a key part of the success of the start-up agency Now during 2012, Lund fulfils the role of a dignified and distinctive figurehead who brings the required gravitas to a business that is still in its relative infancy. His time running larger agencies – and as the chief executive of COI – no doubt adds to the attraction for senior clients.
6. Jon Peppiatt
Equally at home at the racecourse or in a fine-dining environment, "Pep" is a client relationship man first and foremost, but also has an impressive nose for new business that is firmly underpinned by a sense of what is in the best interests of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, of which he is the deputy chairman.
7. Sarah Golding
Golding has an easy charm that belies both her shrewd client-handling skills and her girlish looks. Though she might still be sometimes in the shadow of the CHI founder Johnny Hornby, there is no doubt that the CHI joint chief executive keeps the London agency ticking over.
8. Neil Simpson
A former senior client at Adidas, Coca-Cola and Vodafone, Simpson is applying his energies at the start-up The Corner. Extremely well-connected, don’t bet against Simpson, also a former Publicis London chief executive, providing the boost The Corner needs to really stand out.
9. Jonathan Trimble
The 18 Feet & Rising founder has worked tirelessly to build its London operation and has also had the vision to push for international growth of the independent shop via a launch in Australia.
10. Andrew Stephens
Goodstuff Communications’ founding partner is a bundle of energy and smoother than the silk in the Ann Summers garments his agency helps to sell. He’s not short of an opinion either, and is passionate in his belief that there is an alternative media agency model for clients.