WHO WE ARE

A client once said we bring the perfect balance between charm and brutality

Its true; we're direct and straight-talking. Clients need us to uncover often complex truths and tell them what we find with clarity and courage. We don't shy away from the difficult questions and we cut through the noise. We never, ever use jargon.

Natively Global

We're from everywhere, and we're at home anywhere. Global is our state of mind, because we're genuinely international. Our diverse backgrounds provide a wealth of perspectives on the challenges our clients face. Talent travels wherever its needed. It's what makes us Saffron.

One Saffron

We work as one team across the world. Our goals are united and our experiences are shared. Support and insights are available wherever you are and whatever time zone you're in. We don't differentiate, and we celebrate each other's achievements. We're proud to be a family. Collectively, we've got it covered.

IQ and EQ

We put as much emphasis on empathy and intuition as we do on data and research. Making brand work demands emotional understanding as well as intellectual rigour.

THE SAFFRON STORY

Saffron was started in 2001 by Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins with a simple but compelling vision: to build a brand consultancy as strong in its strategic thinking as it was in its creativity.

Read our story

ONE GLOBAL TEAM

We are an independent consultancy with a global remit. Our clients are the leaders in their fields, and our team are highly experienced, with diverse backgrounds.

  • Chief Executive Officer

    Jacob Benbunan

    Jacob founded Saffron. He was immediately joined by his mentor and friend Wally Olins, the man who invented brand strategy.

    He champions the global, multi-cultural and one-team approach that Saffron embraced since the very beginning.

    Prior to Saffron Jacob worked for 9 years at Wolff Olins, where was part of the team that created the iconic brand Orange.

    At Saffron, he’s led a number of high-profile client engagements including the creation of Vueling, Akzo Nobel , A1 Telekom Austria, the rebrand of Bankinter and Swiss Re; he spearheaded the expansion of Saffron from two offices (one in Madrid, one in London) to our current global footprint.

    An engineer by training at Boston University he is fluent in English, French and Spanish. When he’s not keeping the lights on at Saffron he’s often commenting for the media on issues relating to brand and identity; he was recently on the Cannes Lions design jury. He doesn’t complain when he’s forced to travel in style but has no hesitation jumping into a Mumbai taxi in the monsoons.

  • Chief Creative Officer

    GABOR SCHREIER

    Gabor leads all creative teams across Saffron’s international locations with over 18 years’ experience driving big, bold design work across the world.

    He hails from Germany where he originally trained as a craftsman in lettering, screen printing and restoration, carrying on a family tradition in the third generation before studying design in Stuttgart and Ulm. A bit of a car afficionado, his career started in Berlin where he helped create the identities for Daimler, Smart and Mercedes-Benz Bank.

    Working closely alongside the founders of Saffron, Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins, he contributed to Saffron’s consolidation as a leading international brand consultancy and its international expansion. He’s been the creative force behind A1 Telekom Austria, Swiss Re, Belgacom, Kässbohrer, Bankinter and Vueling Airlines and among others. 

    Fluent in German, Spanish and English, Gabor also teaches, speaks at design conferences and juries awards.

  • Chief Client Services Officer

    LUZ ERHARDT

    Luz leads client service, heading teams across the organisation, overseeing new business opportunities and setting best practice to deliver the enduring and mutually beneficial relationships that are typical of client engagements at Saffron.

    She was born in Spain but has German roots, reflected in the way she mixes an Anglo-Saxon fondness for precision with the typically Latin flair for understanding the EQ end of the spectrum. She's led long term programme engagements for a diverse range of clients including Sodexo, Scania, BBVA, Proximus, Voith, Evo and Kyivstar.

    Luz speaks Spanish, English and French and is a lecturer at IE’s Business and Communication Schools in Madrid and Barcelona. She loves anything to do with Sci-Fi and has a soft spot for her daughter, MiniLuz, whose similarities don't just end with the name!

  • Chief Strategy Officer

    FERNANDO ORTIZ-EHMANN

    Fernando joined Saffron in 2015 and has worked with many of our biggest clients, including Turkish Airlines, Sodexo, Engie.

    Offering over a decade of experience on the client’s side, his professional knowledge extends to operational and trade marketing, merchandising, retail and business development. He has led multi-cultural teams and has worked in or with more than 45 countries.

    Before joining, he was Commercial Director Asia-Pacific for Spanish Fashion brand Desigual. He also launched Desigual’s worldwide channel for the Hotels & Resorts business for which he spearheaded the business development, product & service offering and distribution strategy efforts.

    Moreover, he has held several international Marketing and Sales Management positions at LVMH, the French luxury conglomerate and at Kantar Millward Brown and Forrester Research, both in the USA.

    As well as being fluent in German, English, Spanish, Italian and business French, Fernando holds an MBA from Oxford, a Bachelor of International Business from Boston’s Northeastern University and a Diplom-Betriebswirt from FH Reutlingen in Germany.

    He has a passion for perfumes and enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children.

  • Chief Growth Officer

    BEN KNAPP

    Having been a central figure in Saffron’s development since meeting Wally Olins in 2006, Ben is Chief Growth Officer at Saffron, driving Saffron’s strategy whilst also leading Saffron’s expansion into central Europe, reinforcing our presence in German-speaking countries in partnership with Berlin-based brand and innovation consultancy kleiner und bold.

    Ben’s career began even before he started university when he set up a design company in Austria, a business he continued to run until finishing his postgraduate studies.

    He has worked on a range of clients since joining Saffron from London’s Royal Opera House to technology brands A1 Telekom Austria and Fujitsu. Ben has also been deeply involved in various national branding programmes for London, Durham, Northern Ireland, Poland and Trinidad and Tobago.

    In 2008, Ben helped launch our Mumbai office. But now he’s settled back in Europe, focusing on his strategic role, working with brands such as Voith Group, the social network Xing, Raiffeisen International and online gaming brand Bwin.

  • Chief Business Development Officer

    ALFREDO FRAILE

    Alfredo manages Saffron’s presence in North America, has nurtured our growth in these important markets and around the world.

    Alfredo qualified with a BS in Mass Communications from Boston University and pursued his post-graduate studies at the IESE business school. Making the most of his fluency in both English and Spanish, he began his career working for media companies Antena 3 TV in Spain and Chile’s Canal 13 before going on to leadership positions in middle-stage start-ups UOL and Libre Directo.

    Focusing next on brand consultancy, Alfredo joined as Executive Director at Interbrand’s Iberian office, playing a major part in the company’s development in Latin American regions. At Saffron, he has helped develop client relationships with BBVA, Coca-Cola and Bankinter.

  • Chief Financial Officer

    SANTIAGO CANOSA

    Santiago is Saffron’s Chief Financial Officer, ensuring we have what we need to keep the work of the highest quality – but always ensuring we cut our coats according to our cloth.

    Santiago has developed several finance management positions in various industries, like telecoms, ecommerce and retail. Before joining Saffron, he worked at Arthur Andersen, Verizon, Carrefour and PagesJaunes Groupe.

    Santiago has a university degree in Economics and an MBA at IESE business school. He speaks Spanish, English and French.

  • Creative Director

    MATT ATCHISON

    Matt is Creative Director at Saffron, running the design team and driving creative process on projects across our Saffron locations.

    Matt has been at Saffron for over 8 years having previously been at The Brand Union, Addison and John Ryan Company. Another of our Nottingham Trent University graduates in Design, he also studied at York Technical College and Leamington Spa School of Art.

    At Saffron, he has been key in the development of projects such as A1 Telekom Austria, Raiffeisen International, Swiss Re and C&A. He speaks Spanish and sometimes English.

    When he’s not at work, he’s PA to Lemmy, the Saffron Madrid dog. He’s also passionate about anything to do with wildlife and outdoor activities with a begrudging interest in DIY. Of course design is never far behind.

  • Design Director

    ROBERTO VERONA

    Roberto runs the design team at Saffron Madrid, overseeing the creative process and driving teams through the various stages of the programmes.

    Italian-born, Roberto studied at ISIA Urbino in Italy, and, as well as his native tongue, he speaks fluent Spanish and English. His creative career has taken him via Icon Medialab, Addison and John Ryan Company.

    At Saffron, Roberto has been involved in brand creation and rebranding projects for a range of clients, including Madrid Open, Mtel, Proximus, BSI, Tuenti, Australia’s Alcohol and Drug Foundation, BBVA and Xing.

    He’s a Star Wars addict and a Lego fan and happiest when the two come together.

  • Design Director

    CRAIG MATCHETT

    Craig is Design Director in London overseeing our design team there and connecting creatives across other Saffron locations.

    Born in the North West of the UK, Craig has worked for a number of global brand consultancies from around the world including the likes of Landor and Interbrand. He’s covered many fields of branding, advertising and art direction and worked on a large range of projects from helping create the worlds most awarded airline to repositioning Australia’s oldest banking institutions, amongst others.

    Since arriving at Saffron in 2016, he’s been a key figure in building teams, attracting talent and the creation of a number of global projects from Europe, the Middle East and Russia working across Saffron’s locations overseeing the creative output.

    Outside of the studio he’ll be found spending a long Sunday afternoon cooking up new recipes. Or hiking the national parks of the UK with a good science fiction novel in tow.

  • Design Director

    DREW COUGHLAN

    Drew joined us from Down Under in 2016 and has been enriching us with his unique perspective on Branding and Design since then. In his role as a Design Director he’s nurturing and managing the creative teams in London where he is responsible for the creative output. Beyond that, he’s also spearheading Saffron’s digital development on a global level.

    Before joining Saffron, Drew worked at a number of industry leading agencies in Australia, including Interbrand, SouthSouthWest and Love + Money. His work covers the fields of branding, graphic and digital design having worked on a range of projects from reimagining national icons to creating disruptive e-commerce experiences.

    At Saffron, Drew has been involved in the creation and leadership of a number of projects from around the world, from cultural institutions in London to start-ups out of California. 

    Outside of the studio, your best bet finding Drew will be searching for London's best flat white. Or (like all other Australians in London) on the way to the airport on another weekend advernture somewhere in Europe.

  • Digital Design Director

    Leif Steen

    As Digital Design Director based in the London office, Leif is responsible for leading digital product and interaction design. Originally from Spain, he gained an undergraduate degree from Universidad de Navarra and moved to London to pursue a Design MA at London College of Communication.

    With an editorial design and data visualisation background, Leif has naturally moved into the digital sphere working on projects for Visa, The World Economic Forum, Volvo, Vodafone and News International.

    Passionate about sports, Leif loves playing tennis during his free time and takes every opportunity to visit London’s latest exhibitions.

  • Strategy Director

    Charlotte Black

    Charlotte leads brand, experience and innovation strategy for a number of our key global clients. An interdisciplinary strategist, she is passionate about building brands that are authentic, true to their purpose and create a positive impact in the world. 

    Since joining Saffron she has played a key role on projects including the creation and development of the Facebook company brand, whilst also building our London offer and developing our global strategy team.

    A true global practitioner, prior to joining Saffron she worked on projects all over the world for brands including Farfetch, Loewe, Puig, AstraZeneca and Allen & Overy. She also brings broader brand and marketing experience having held roles at Condé Nast International and Ralph Lauren.

    She started her career on the Omnicom management training programme and was a Gap Year Scholar at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a first class business degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and has studied digital marketing and user experience design at General Assembly.

    A global nomad professionally and personally, Charlotte is most at home travelling to different places and experiencing new cultures.

     

  • Strategy Director

    Paloma Castiñeira

    Paloma is a Strategy Director in our Madrid office. Prior to joining Saffron, she was a consultant in Deloitte's Strategy and Operations team, specialising in the development of client strategies.

    Passionate about branding, Paloma was Director of FutureBrand for more than 3 years, leading the Strategy and Communication practice with clients like CaixaBank, Acciona, Atletico Madrid and Repsol.

    She has developed brand strategies with clients from all industries all over the world, from financial institutions to the hotel industry.

    Paloma studied Law and Business Administration and Management at ICADE. Her mother tongue is Spanish but she is also fluent in English. She loves tennis and follows all the tournaments she can, and devotes much of her free time to reading. Passionate about food and travel, Paloma loves trying the local cuisine wherever she goes.

     

     

  • Strategy Director

    Adrian Pring

    Adrian has led brand strategy and engagement projects for corporate clients across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 

    He has been integral to the strategic and creative thinking behind brands such as HK Express, T-Mobile, Equinor, Antelliq, HSBC, Henkel, Platts, Immediate Media, Sony, SAP, Xchanging and Dubai Insurance.

    Before Saffron, Adrian was at WPP agency Brand Union in their London studio. Prior to that he worked in Dubai and Bangkok for Performa, a boutique brand experience agency focused on the hospitality and aviation sectors. 

    Adrian grew up in Asia and has degrees in psychology from University of London and Cambridge. When he’s not strategising, chances are he’ll be out for a walk in the Surrey Hills with his wife and son.

  • Business Development Director

    PEDRO GARCÍA-NOBLEJAS

    Pedro is a Business Development Director working out of our Madrid office. He looks for opportunities, creating points of view together with our strategy and design teams to engage with clients and build relationships that last.

    Pedro was previously an investment banker for almost 8 years before joining Interbrand as Business Development Director. With a degree in International Business Administration, experience living in London and Paris, and speaking Spanish, English and French, Pedro is pretty internationally fluent.

    He’s married without children (yet), has a dog called Groucho, runs marathons and loves bullfighting.

  • Managing Director, Turkey

    TURGAY ADIYAMAN

    Since 2008, Turgay has guided Saffron into the Turkish, Russian, Caspian and Gulf regions where we now help both companies and countries.  

    Since graduating in Management at METU in Turkey, Turgay has built an impressive 20-year business career, working for multinational brands Unilever, Turkcell and Vodafone. He is also the founder of the Brand is You conferences, a writer for Brandmap Magazine and has lectured in branding at Georgia State University and BilgiMBA in Turkey.

    At Saffron he has helped drive engagements with Made in Turkey, Turkcell, and Digiturk amongst others. His favourite catchphrase is ‘Today is the day’ – good advice if you ever heard it!

  • Business Development Director, India

    Harshad heads Saffron’s operations in India and is responsible for its growth and client relationships in the region.

    Before joining Saffron, Harshad held the Business Head position for an India based boutique brand consultancy, where he spearheaded the firm's New Business division and looked after its strategic interest across various business ventures. 

    Over the last 7 years, he has worked with blue-chip Indian clients like Diageo, Lodha Group, Tata Housing, IDFC Bank, Quikr and more. He’s addicted to coffee and co-founded a signature travel firm.

    As an investor and entrepreneur he advises several startups in the technology and retail space.

Think you might want to work for Saffron?

 

Do you take a view on things? Are you articulate, even if your vocation is primarily visual? Are you visual, even if your vocation is primarily verbal? Have you gotten up to some pretty interesting things in your day?

  • 13.08.19

    Senior Programme Manager

    We’re on the lookout for a motivated, London-based Senior Programme Manager to work on exciting client engagements on a global scale. We’re looking for someone with international brand agency experience. German speaking a plus.

    You:
    - Manage mid to large-sized clients alone, working alongside a Programme Director on multi workstream, global-scale programmes
    - Build and maintain client satisfaction, growing client opportunities
    - Responsible for facilitating team communications and sync, enabling shared thinking and delivery
    - Solid at scoping proposals for new and existing clients, including planning, timelines, costing, etc.
    - Responsible, together with the Programme lead, for delivering work on brief, time and budget
    - Contributor to the strategic and creative development of programmes, understanding the brief, requirements and deliverables
    - Capable of providing sound judgement on strategic and creative work to coherently argue if work is on brief
    - Commitment to excellent and rigorous programme management

    Requirements:
    - 6+ years of experience in similar positions in the brand, comms or business consultancy industries.
    - Native English speaker or very advanced level, both spoken and written. German-speaking a big plus.
    - Proven experience in managing large scale programmes in branding, either alone or with support from a senior team.
    - Comfortable taking ownership and responsibility for delivery
    - Capable of effectively presenting to clients and new business
    - Strong organisational skills and excellent attention to detail
    - Ability to work under high-pressure, on multiple workstreams and tight deadlines

    If you’re interested, please send your CV and a PDF or website to luz@saffron-consultants.com with headline: LDN Senior Programme Manager

    About Saffron

    Who we are
    Founded in 2001 by Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins, Saffron is an independent global consultancy who partners with industry leaders and challengers to help them harness change.

    What we believe in: Make brand work
    We are brand experts and use brand as a management tool. We are as strong in thinking as we are in doing. We commit to our clients’ success in the long run.

    Our clients
    From CEOs to CMOs, through CHROs, we have worked with business leaders from a wide range of geographies and industries.

    Our projects
    Clients typically come to us when they find themselves in 4 different scenarios: growth, creation, transformation or adjustment of their respective models. We help them all build the case for change, make their vision tangible, design and build unique experiences, define and deploy their own cultural identity.

    5 offices, 1 team
    We are a team of 70 working from different locations. We have offices in London, Madrid, Vienna, Istanbul and Mumbai, as well as a strategic partner in New York. We manage our clients, partners and people globally.

    Our culture
    We are from everywhere and we work everywhere. Our team is highly diverse. We call this being natively global. We are told to represent the perfect mix of charm and brutality. We strive to leverage our IQ and EQ in everything we do.

  • 17.10.19

    Senior Designer

    We are on the lookout for a Senior Designer to join our Madrid studio. The ideal candidate will be someone who feels as comfortable creating brand identities as presenting them. They would be someone who loves the finer details of design but can look up, see the broader picture and work towards a common goal.

    You:
    - Are excited every morning about coming into the studio and the challenges ahead.
    - Love great design.
    - Are a thinker and problem solver.
    - Understand the value of brand strategy and can act on it.
    - Seek excellence in everything you do.
    - Have exceptional design skills - first and foremost as a brand designer but also with a good grasp of either UI, Motion, Processing or alike.
    - Are eager to collaborate not only with your fellow designers but also with strategists and programme managers.
    - Are fluent in English in Spanish, with other languages a bonus.
    - Are excited about joining a close-knit international team and work with clients all over the world.
    - Understand branding and have experience of creating brands.

    As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
    - Be curious by nature and hungry to learn.
    - Be open and flexible in mindset and delivery.
    - Value strategy and see the bigger picture.
    - Have a balance of IQ and EQ.
    - Have a problem-solving but hands-on attitude.
    - Be able to embrace responsibility and ownership.
    - Be committed, rigorous.
    - Work as a team player, fostering the ONE Culture.

    If you’re interested, please send your CV and a PDF or website with examples of your work to talent@saffron-consultants.com with headline: MAD Senior Designer

    About Saffron

    Who we are
    Founded in 2001 by Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins, Saffron is an independent global consultancy who partners with industry leaders and challengers to help them drive and harness change.

    What we believe in: Make brand work
    We are brand experts and use brand as a management tool. We are as strong in thinking as we are in doing. We commit to our clients’ success in the long run.

    Our clients
    From CEOs to CMOs, through CHROs, we have worked with business leaders from a wide range of geographies and industries.

    Our projects
    Clients typically come to us when they find themselves in 4 different scenarios: growth, creation, transformation or adjustment of their respective models. We help them all build the case for change, make their vision tangible, design and build unique experiences, define and deploy their own cultural identity.

    5 offices, 1 team
    We are a team of 70 working from different locations. We have offices in London, Madrid, Vienna, Istanbul and Mumbai, as well as a strategic partner in New York. We share one P+L so we manage our clients, partners and people globally.

    Our culture
    We are from everywhere and we work everywhere. Our team is highly diverse. We call this being natively global. We are told to represent the perfect mix of charm and brutality.
    We strive to leverage our IQ and EQ in everything we do.

  • 17.10.19

    Junior Designer

    We are on the lookout for a Junior Designer to join our London studio. They could be an uncut diamond fresh from university, or have a year or two under their belt. But either way, they should be someone who is full of energy and enthusiasm, and raring to get involved in anything and everything that happens in our day-to-day.

    You:
    - Love great design.
    - Are a thinker and problem solver.
    - Seek excellence in everything you do.
    - Have exceptional design skills but also play around in one (or more) of UI, Motion, Processing or alike.
    - Are eager to learn how to work with brand strategy and how to make projects run more smoothly.
    - Are fluent in English, and other languages are a plus too (Spanish, German, French).
    - Are excited about joining a close-knit international team and working with clients all over the world.
    - Have a working VISA for the UK.

    As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
    - Be curious by nature and hungry to learn.
    - Be open and flexible in mindset and delivery.
    - Have a balance of IQ and EQ.
    - Have a problem-solving but hands-on attitude.
    - Able to embrace responsibility and ownership.
    - Be committed, rigorous.
    - Work as a team player, fostering the ONE Culture.

    If you’re interested, please send your CV and a PDF with some examples of your work at talent@saffron-consultants.com with headline: LDN Junior Designer


    About Saffron

    Who we are
    Founded in 2001 by Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins, Saffron is an independent global consultancy who partners with industry leaders and challengers to help them drive and harness change.

    What we believe in: Make brand work
    We are brand experts and use brand as a management tool. We are as strong in thinking as we are in doing. We commit to our clients’ success in the long run.

    Our clients
    From CEOs to CMOs, through CHROs, we have worked with business leaders from a wide range of geographies and industries. Over 50% of our revenue comes from recurring clients.

    Our projects
    Clients typically come to us when they find themselves in 4 different scenarios: growth, creation, transformation or adjustment of their respective models. We help them all build the case for change, make their vision tangible, design and build unique experiences, define and deploy their own cultural identity.

    5 offices, 1 team
    We are a team of 70 working from different locations. We have offices in London, Madrid, Vienna, Istanbul and Mumbai, as well as a strategic partner in New York. We share one P+L so we manage our clients, partners and people globally.

    Our culture
    We are from everywhere and we work everywhere. Our team is highly diverse. We call this being natively global. We are told to represent the perfect mix of charm and brutality.
    We strive to leverage our IQ and EQ in everything we do.

  • 17.10.19

    Junior Designer

    We're on the lookout for a Junior Designer to join our Madrid studio. They could be an uncut diamond fresh from university, or have a year or two under their belt. But either way, they should be someone who is full of energy and enthusiasm, and raring to get involved in anything and everything that happens in our day-to-day.

    You:
    - Love great design.
    - Are a thinker and a problem solver.
    - Seek excellence in everything you do.
    - Have exceptional design skills but also play around in one (or more) of UI, Motion, Processing or alike.
    - Are eager to learn how to work with brand strategy and how to make projects run more smoothly.
    - Are fluent in English and Spanish, with other languages a plus.
    - Are excited about joining a close-knit international team and working with clients all over the world.

    As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
    - Be curious by nature and hungry to learn.
    - Be open and flexible in mindset and delivery.
    - Have a balance of IQ and EQ.
    - Have a problem-solving but hands-on attitude.
    - Able to embrace responsibility and ownership.
    - Be committed, rigorous.
    - Work as a team player, fostering the ONE Culture.

    If you’re interested, please send your CV and a PDF with some examples of your work at talent@saffron-consultants.com with headline: MAD Junior Designer


    About Saffron

    Who we are
    Founded in 2001 by Jacob Benbunan and Wally Olins, Saffron is an independent global consultancy who partners with industry leaders and challengers to help them drive and harness change.

    What we believe in: Make brand work
    We are brand experts and use brand as a management tool. We are as strong in thinking as we are in doing. We commit to our clients’ success in the long run.

    Our clients
    From CEOs to CMOs, through CHROs, we have worked with business leaders from a wide range of geographies and industries.

    Our projects
    Clients typically come to us when they find themselves in 4 different scenarios: growth, creation, transformation or adjustment of their respective models. We help them all build the case for change, make their vision tangible, design and build unique experiences, define and deploy their own cultural identity.

    5 offices, 1 team
    We are a team of 70 working from different locations. We have offices in London, Madrid, Vienna, Istanbul and Mumbai, as well as a strategic partner in New York. We share one P+L so we manage our clients, partners and people globally.

    Our culture
    We are from everywhere and we work everywhere. Our team is highly diverse. We call this being natively global. We are told to represent the perfect mix of charm and brutality.
    We strive to leverage our IQ and EQ in everything we do.

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