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.
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 it's needed. It's what makes us Saffron.
At Saffron we are committed to fostering a positive culture where every individual feels valued. We welcome people from all walks of life and give every person equal opportunities to develop personally and professionally. For us diversity isn’t a policy - it’s our natural way of being.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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, Facebook, Engie, YouTube, ORF, SOS Children's Villages, and Sabadell amongst others.
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 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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 walking his Portuguese water dog Ripley.
Digital Design Director
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.
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.
A true global practitioner, prior to joining Saffron she worked at People-Made 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.
Paloma is a Strategy Director in our Madrid office. Prior to joining Saffron, she was a Strategy Director at FutureBrand for more than 3 years, leading the Strategy and Communication practice. She has developed brand strategies for clients from all industries from financial institutions to the hotel industry, with clients like CaixaBank, Atletico Madrid and Repsol.
She started her career as a consultant in Deloitte's Strategy and Operations team, specialising in the development of client strategies.
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 to try the local cuisine wherever she goes.
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.
Elena joined Saffron over 11 years ago. She is responsible for monitoring the day-to-day performance of programmes to ensure a smooth and long-lasting relationship with clients. Over the years at Saffron she has contributed to all kinds of programmes, including brand creation, naming, retail experience, brand culture and engagement.
She has worked for clients big and small from all around the globe, including the likes of A1, Cepsa, C&A, BQ, Volotea, Bajaj, Bankinter, Raiffeisen International to name a few.
Before Saffron Elena gained 15 years experience in all aspects of brand communication while working both for major global businesses and well-known agencies.
Elena is fluent in Spanish and English and has a background in philology having studied at the Universidad de Salamanca.
Born and raised in Sydney, Andrew has spent the last 10 years working in London as Head of Delivery, overseeing teams and engagements with world class clients such as Rio Tinto, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Stage Coach, British Gas, Hasbro and Philips.
Prior to joining Saffron, Andrew worked for agencies such as Tribal DDB, Grand Union and Rufus Leonard.
Having worked for 15 years across brand and technology, Andrew is experienced in delivering technology and brand solutions ranging from large web and app builds with global country rollouts, e-commerce and brand optimisation across a wide range of industries including media, FMCG, government, banking, telecommunication and transport.
Andrew speaks English and has a basic understanding of Arabic and Spanish. While enjoying his weekends scuba-diving he always finds the time to have a break and enjoy a delicious dessert.
Cristina has worked in the world of branding her entire career. She has been part of Saffron's team for 18 years, leading project management for large organisations, enacting programs in all areas of brand for banks, industrial corporations, telecommunications and retail companies.
She has worked to build brands for clients such as Bankinter, Cepsa, Banco Santander, Vueling, Volotea and Madrid Open, among many others.
Before joining Saffron, Cristina worked as a project manager in Wolff Olins, where she had the opportunity to work with clients from a variety of sectors in Spain and South America.
She loves good food, and her free time is spent enjoying it with her family.
Anna drives excellence across live projects and new business opportunities on a global basis.
With a background in retail and omni-channel design, Anna's passion lies in the creation of brands that are manifested in unique tangible experiences. Some highlights of her career to-date include leading the creation of new automotive start-up Lynk & Co, from positioning to experience, retail and identity, through to innovation and brand activation; the refresh of Nokia's visual identity and the creation of a new business proposition for Hyundai's EV brand.
Before Saffron, Anna spent eight years at FITCH, managing a number of exciting engagements with Russian and global clients.
Born and raised in Russia, Anna has BA in Management and MA in Marketing and Brand Strategy.
Business Development Director
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 with a son, has a dog called Groucho, runs marathons and loves bullfighting.
Managing Director, Turkey
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!
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 10 years, he has worked with blue-chip clients like YouTube, L&T Infotech, Modern Foods, Diageo, Lodha Group, Tata Housing, IDFC Bank, Quikr and startups such as Vivant.
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?
Head of People & Culture
We are on a mission to be the world’s most culturally diverse and inclusive brand company and we’re looking for a Head of People and Culture to help us get there. With around 5 years’ experience working in a creative environment, he/she’ll be passionate about building teams that help us make lasting and meaningful impact on our clients. The successful candidate should combine insight and rigour with an ability to translate that into inspiring creative ideas that can reframe our opportunities as the special kind of business that we are, and elevate our entire brand as a place to work be it IRL or WFH.
- You have experience working in an international and multicultural environment, making impact in its EVP and Culture.
- You will work hand in hand with our Exec developing and implementing human resources strategies. You will need to identify and be at ease with human resources issues, providing information, analysis, and recommendations to guide strategic thinking and direction.
- You will also work on the activation and implementation of our EVP programme and will identify actions to reinforce the company culture which values learning, transparency, collaboration, customer centricity and execution.
- You will provide human resources advice, counsel, and decisions via regular meetings with all levels of management, to ensure executive alignment and drive performance aligned with business strategy.
- You will support the Exec in the development of an effective performance management programme and will facilitate professional development and learning opportunities.
- You will also be researching, conceptualising, writing, and updating employee policies, procedures, methods, and guidelines to guide management and employee actions.
- You will partner with the CEO to identify future talent and drive succession planning.
- You speak and write excellent English, additional languages a plus.
As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
- Have enthusiasm and passion for brand in a way that would inspire a team. You have an infectious, unrelenting energy.
- Have a deep understanding of audience insight, and how it can be harnessed for a diverse range of challenges and opportunities.
- Be plugged in to what’s happening in the world and be able to leverage that insight to develop unique and meaningful thinking.
- Be all over the detail.
- Be someone who will add to our culture. Be your authentic self, have a laugh and support your team
Position based in Madrid, Spain.
If you’re interested, please send your CV and cover letter to email@example.com with subject: MAD Head of People & Culture.
Strategist / Sr. Strategist
Saffron is on the lookout for a Strategist or Sr. Strategist who is a native German speaker. You will be based in either London, Madrid or Vienna but work as part of a global team, reporting to our Chief Strategy Officer.
- You have over 4 (6 for Sr. Strategist) years of experience in a brand agency or similar field (consulting, marketing, creative).
- You speak and write excellent German and English, additional languages a plus.
- You have proven track-record working in digital strategy, innovation and agile working methodologies a plus.
- You have strong organisational abilities and can juggle and prioritise multiple work-streams.
- You have worked with global brand clients on naming, brand positioning, brand architecture, brand experience and verbal identity.
- You are a details-oriented person, without getting lost in them.
As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
- Work with global clients to understand their business problems and recommend appropriate solutions.
- Demonstrate appetite and initiative to seek actionable insights to drive the creation of strategic ideas and solutions.
- Flexibly apply learnings and experience to each project on a bespoke basis.
- Work collaboratively with the team, clients and external partners to uphold our commitment to excellence.
- Help Jr. Strategists and interns understand and navigate Saffron, our values and ways of working, approaches and how to perform their tasks.
- Take an active interest in Saffron’s commerciality by actively supporting new business development initiatives, pitches and proposals.
- Easily switch between different types of projects and industries, applying an elastic mindset and approach in the day to day.
If you’re interested, please send your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: VIE Strategist / Sr. Strategist.
We are on the lookout for a Motion Designer with around 4+ years experience to join our Madrid studio. The ideal candidate will be someone who loves to be involved in all stages of the design process and takes the lead to make things happen. From ideation all the way through to bringing ideas to life, they would be someone who consistently completes projects with finesse and precision.
- You are excited about what you get to do every day.
- You are a thinker and problem solver .
- You seek excellence in everything you do.
- You have a wide range of motion skills from 2D to 3D, animating to editing.
- You are a strong conceptual thinker with experience working in branding.
- You understand the importance of sound design and how it can bring an added dimension to a concept.
- You are versatile, a leader and can handle multiple projects.
- You are fluent in English, with other languages a plus too.
- You are excited about joining a close-knit international team and working with clients all over the world.
- You are eligible to work in 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.
- 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 reel with some examples of your work to email@example.com with subject: MAD Motion Designer.
Business Development Manager
Saffron is looking for a business development manager with around 5 years experience for our office in Vienna. You will be responsible for attracting and managing new business for Saffron in the DACH region of Europe, with a particular focus on Austria. We are looking for a proactive, driven person that has ambitions to grow DACH for Saffron and their career with us. We ask that you have a strong interest in branding, a proven sales track record and feel proud to work as part of a global team.
- You are an energetic, ambitious and outgoing person that enjoys the sales process.
- You speak and write excellent German and English, ideally Spanish.
- You enjoy being around creative and strategic thinkers.
- You have an affinity for brands and design and a knowledge of both subjects.
- You are a details-oriented person, without getting lost in them.
- You can juggle and prioritise multiple, competing tasks.
- You have strong organisational abilities.
- You find working in a multilingual, multicultural environment exciting and enriching.
As a Saffronite we’ll expect you to:
- Engage in sector analysis to find companies that could become our clients.
- Identify new business opportunities from your network, the media and other sources.
- Proactively attract potential new clients and guide them along our sales funnel.
- Work with clients that enquire about our services and guide them along our sales funnel.
- Develop content for proposals and presentations as part of the sales process.
- Develop and manage tools for monitoring new business activities (ex. databases, status reports, action plans, etc.).
- Support Marketing and New Business activities such as mailing lists, visit scheduling, etc.
If you’re interested, please send your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: VIE Business Development Manager.