David has over 30 years’ experience in creating strategies and ideas for brands in two of the world’s leading advertising agencies, J Walter Thompson and AMV BBDO.
His final job at JWT was as its Head of Multinational Clients based in London, after having been its Worldwide Head of Strategic Planning in New York; both positions were at EXCO level, allowing him to contribute to the most senior management forum of agency of 7,000 employees, billing over $7 billion.
In 2005, David joined De Beers as Marketing Director for the Diamond Trading Company, responsible for a global budget of $250 million and the care of “A Diamond is Forever.” Most recently, as Managing Director for the World Gold Council, he helped transform a familiar trade organisation into a vigorous commercial enterprise, creating LoveGold, the first global digital innovation in gold jewellery, and AZVA, India’s fastest-ever growing jewellery brand. In between diamonds and gold, David ran and repositioned Tswalu Kalahari, 250,000 acres of green desert, combining an important conservation endeavour (which protects around a third of South Africa’s remaining desert black rhino, a critically endangered species) with an extraordinary guest experience in a persuasive model of sustainability.
What others say
“I’ve been blessed in my life to have met and worked alongside a handful of individuals who epitomise the term ‘inspirational’. I count David among that small number. His forensic attention to detail, coupled with an exquisite sense of taste and elegance, consistently delivered with extraordinary eloquence and professionalism is a delight to behold. If you ever have the opportunity to work with David, seize it, and prepare to be taught by a master of the craft.”
James Hilton, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, AKQA
“David brings smart strategic thinking to any category and any marketing challenge, but he particularly knows the rules of luxury or premium branding inside out. Even more importantly, he also knows how to break those rules in order to give brands an unfair advantage.
David is incisive, perceptive, globally-minded and sharp-witted. But more than anything, he is a truly lateral-thinking marketing strategist. In a sea of bland, predictable brand consultants, his solutions and ideas impress by their combination of rigour and originality”.
Emma Cookson, Chairman, Bartle Bogle Hegarty North America
“As President of JWT New York, I was fortunate to work side by side with David when he was our Global Head of Strategy. It was a time of considerable success for the agency and David was instrumental in driving much of it.
David is one one the smartest people I have had the pleasure to work with. Everything and everyone got better when David was involved in a project; the thinking, the process and the work. David is also blessed with an incredible wit. We worked hard and laughed hard.
I relish the prospect of working with him again.”
Rosemarie Ryan, Co-founder, co:collective
“David is unique because he brings to the table a rare combination of strategic thinking, commercial savvy and unmatchable creative taste… He is a secret weapon, especially when it comes to new business.”
Bob Jeffrey, CEO, J Walter Thompson Worldwide
“David has a unique ability to see the most powerful consumer insight from a set of often contradictory facts and turn it into a powerful and creative marketing platform.”
Stephen Lussier, Executive Director, De Beers & CEO Forevermark
“I have known David for many years, first from the time we both worked at De Beers, and he was always able to see the wood for the trees. It has been really insightful to have his input at Tswalu and the world class product that is Tswalu has his prints over it.”
“Hiring David was the turning point for Tswalu Kalahari. As well as reviewing and changing every aspect of the brand and its operations, he generated fantastic energy and confidence behind his ideas. And he got stuck in.”
Mark Berry, Chairman, Tswalu Kalahari Pty Ltd