WLT in brand separation

Jo Francis
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Williams Lea Tag (WLT) is revamping its offering by splitting into two business units: Williams Lea and Tag, with a new CEO taking the helm at Williams Lea.

The then-Williams Lea outsourcing group acquired marketing production specialist Tag Worldwide nearly eight years ago.

The business support giant was itself acquired by private equity house Advent International in August 2017. It has worldwide sales of around $1.2bn (£910m), employing 10,000 staff.

WLT said the fresh strategy was intended to “deliver focused value propositions and market-leading experiences for clients worldwide”. The two businesses each have a new brand identity.

The Williams Lea business unit will focus on business-critical support services for clients in financial, legal and professional services. In the UK the firm also owns The Stationery Office, which provides publishing services to the public sector.

Newly-appointed CEO Clare Hart will head up Williams Lea, reporting to group CEO David Kassler. Hart is based in New York and has an extensive track record in data, information and business services. Most recently she was CEO at background screening company Sterling Talent Solutions. She has eight global direct reports, who have been appointed from within the business.

Kassler has added the CEO role at Tag to his group remit. Tag will focus on marketing production services for a number of key sectors including retail and luxury, life sciences, telecoms and financial services.

Kassler said the split was “an important milestone in the WLT growth journey”.

“Each [brand] will now benefit from clear business and management structures to focus on their cores strengths and deliver optimal results for our clients across the world,” he stated.

WLT has also boosted its main board with the appointment of Paul Carr as a non-executive director. Carr is president of research firm Third Bridge and has held senior roles at Axiom Law, American Express and Boston Consulting Group.

In the UK, Williams Lea posted sales down 9.3% at £321.2m in its most recent accounts, for the year ending 31 December 2017. Tag Europe sales fell by almost 15% in the same period, to £71.9m.

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