Lead Forensics


LDC-backed Croud appoints new Non-Executive Chairman

5 Feb 2020

LDC-backed global digital marketing agency Croud has appointed the former Chief Executive of Dentsu Aegis Network, Jerry Buhlmann, as its Non-Executive Chairman, with immediate effect.

The new appointment follows LDC’s recent £30m investment in the business to support the existing management team’s growth strategy. In his role as Non-Executive Chairman he will be working alongside Croud’s Co-Founders Luke Smith and Ben Knight to further accelerate the agency’s global growth, which last year reached over 40% year-on-year growth and an annual revenue of over £15m.

Founded in 2011, Croud provides marketing strategy and consultancy alongside SEO, PPC, content, programmatic, paid social, creative, and analytics services to some of the world’s leading brands, including Vans, AMC Networks, The North Face and Hiscox. The business also launched its global marketing platform Serpico in 2019, empowering in-house teams with expertise and technology.

Jerry brings more than 30 years’ experience in media and advertising to the business, most recently as Chief Executive of Aegis Group PLC and then of Dentsu Aegis Network from 2010 to 2018. During his tenure in these roles, he was the key driver of growth and led several high-profile acquisitions, including the £3.2bn sale of Aegis Group PLC to Dentsu and the acquisition of Merkle. He is also currently Senior Independent Director at FTSE250 company Inchcape PLC, a Director of Madison Sports Group and a Senior Advisor to management consultancy, OC&C.

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It’s an absolute honour to welcome Jerry Buhlmann to Croud’s board. He is A-league when it comes to our industry and brings a wealth of experience to our business. This is a huge validation of both the business the Croud team has built over the past eight years, but also our decision to remain independent and partner with LDC.
Luke Smith, Co-Founder and CEO

“With Jerry’s support and guidance we can continue on our mission to become the world’s finest technology and communications group over the next decade. We’re privileged that Jerry has chosen to be part of our next phase and we’re looking forward to having his wisdom and drive to continue our run of global growth.” 

Commenting on the appointment, David Andrews, Director at LDC, said: “Jerry is an important addition to the Croud team at a crucial time in the business’ growth journey. His appointment will help the team build on Croud’s unique model and accelerate the business’s global expansion ambitions to become one the world’s leading digital marketing agencies.”

Jerry’s appointment will support Croud’s existing management team which is led by co-founders Luke Smith and Ben Knight.

Jerry Buhlmann, Non-Executive Chairman of Croud, added: “Croud is an exceptional business with a high-performance culture delivering innovation and value to its clients. Croud is at the cutting edge of new technology, new client-focused services and business models which will drive value for all their stakeholders.  Both Luke and Ben are dedicated and visionary leaders and I’m looking forward to supporting them to continue Croud’s outstanding growth and success.”

LDC has recently announced that it will seek to increase its investment in UK companies during 2020. Last year, the firm deployed £365million of capital to back 18 ambitious management teams, including Croud.