Charlie Hoult is a successful serial entrepreneur. He is currently working as a non-exec director and advisor to a range of marketing, digital and media firms – advising on new business activity, fund raising, growth strategy, business planning and mergers. He provides this consultancy advice alongside his commitments on Tyneside to the family business, Hoults Yard, and as chairman of digital recruitment specialist, Futureheads.
Charlie was recently profiled in the FT – click here to read up.
His work at Hoults Yard has been to establish the site as a hub for creative activity on Tyneside, with an extensive cultural programme of street art, gallery exhibitions, music events and grassroots ‘meanwhile uses’. The site now sustains some 400 jobs through 50 small businesses that largely operate in the creative industries: artists, bands, TV producers, film editors, conference specialists, animators, PR consultants, search marketing professionals, fashion designers…
In his role as CEO of Loewy, Charlie built the marketing services group from 20 to 400 people in four years, exiting in May 2008. The group had annualised profits of £50m and profits of £5 million per annum. Charlie led a 2007 fundraising of £16 million in structured finance to continue growth through merger and acquisition. This growth path made Loewy ready to take on some of the majors in marketing, like M&C Saatchi or Engine Group.
At 44, Charlie has made his mark in several areas of media, marketing and publishing: he was a dotcom entrepreneur (profiled by the FT magazine at the time), wrote a book on green issues in 1992, did a stint as the Evening Standard diary column writer and was even a big nightclub promoter at college. His event was, with some pride, named Time Out’s Worst Named Nightclub of 1992! He won the North East PR industry’s Event of The Year 2010 with World Cup in a Warehouse, staged to show England v Slovenia – with video contribution from Tony Blair and gatecrashes including Dame Hilary Armstrong and Viz founder Chris Donald! There was live broadcasting from Metro Radio and BBC NorthEast – and a hog roast!
Charlie featured on BBC2’s Jeremy Vine show and in the Evening Standard in defense of the 2012 Olympic Logo and was recently profiled in PR Week as “the next Martin Sorrell” and in Design Week’s 2008 Hot 50. He is a regular speaker at conferences on entrepreneurship, regeneration and digital innovation – and as an advocate for ‘breakthrough business’ in the North East.
He made his mark building Incisive Research, then a newsletter publishing business, which he sold to the firm subsequently floated as Incisive Media plc. He built up a profitable serviced office and incubator business, Metrocube, through 1999 to 2002 with investors Luke Johnson and Joel Cadbury. Simultaneously, he spent ten years expanding Wilson Harvey, corporate design specialists, which he brought into Loewy in 2004.
Loewy is building a new collaborative agency model, bringing together a diverse team of marketing communications specialists into one stable. Loewy specialists cover market research, brand design, PR and internal communications. With growth, Loewy has developed an eye for the quality of merger partners with hot shops joining, like Williams Murray Hamm, The Team, Seymour Powell, Mantra, Branded, Rainier…
Loewy traces its heritage back to iconic design work for Lucky Strike, Greyhound Buses, SkyLab, Concorde, Coca Cola and many more. A hot challenger agency, Loewy was ranked UK No. 2 independent agency in Design Week’srankings – but No. 1 for creativity and effectiveness, with three Presidents of the Design and Art Directors Association (D&AD) on the team.
The Hoult family has been involved in entrepreneurial activities in the North-East of England for several generations, taking an active role in the community. Charlie’s great-grandfather founded a transport business in Byker which operated the first weekly truck deliveries from Newcastle to London and became a Top Ten UK furniture remover. His grandfather acquired and ran the famous and collectible Malings Pottery and his father has transformed the furniture depot Hoults Yard into Newcastle’s new media hotspot. Most recently, father-and-son have worked on a new facility at Hoults Yard – The Kiln office space.
Charlie is past Chairman of the Next Generation committee at the Institute of Family Business, attached to London Business School. He studied at Manchester and Cardiff Universities and still cycles to work.
What separates Charlie from the “usual” entrepreneur-CEO-type is his relaxed, empowering leadership style – which works well alongside a “federation of entrepreneurs.” Charlie’s passion for people, acute business sense and inherent entrepreneurial flair combine to make him incredibly successful in a professional capacity.
The above biog is an update from the submission to the CBI’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, for which Charlie was a finalist. See here.