Ben Hollom - Founder & Managing Director
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ben brings more than 20 years of experience to the table with his diverse portfolio of work within agencies and the commercial sector.He has planned and executed complex, multi-strand strategies for high profile brands such as Axa, The FA, Sky and Mazda throughout his career. Ben owned a reputable advertising agency in South Africa from 1994, before moving back to the UK in 2001 to set up and run another successful marketing agency in Bath.
After a number of years working on projects with M2 in a consulting capacity, Ben finally made the arrangement permanent in December 2010, resulting in the birth of his baby, M2 Bespoke.
Ben used to be in a band which played all over the world for billionaires, celebrities, and even royalty.
Tom Naysmith - Founder & Operations Director
Tom is the CEO at M2 Communications, having joined the M2 group back in 2003. With expertise in both the finance and media sector, Tom was instrumental in the acquisition of US-based news and information provider NewsEdge from Thomson in 2007 and the following merger with smaller rival Acquire Media.
Tom was the Chairman of the merged company, heading up its international division until 2009 when he led the management buyout of M2 Communications. He holds a BSc degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Bath.
Tom was the 5th Guildford Cub Scout tea-making champion, two years running. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. He owns two Rhodesian ridgebacks who help him supervise the office.
Gulli Arnason - Founder & Editorial Director
Gulli uses his vast experience in the media sector and as a financial journalist to focus on the development of new products and electronic publications for the M2 group.
Having worked as a freelance journalist for The Guardian, The Independent and BBC Radio 4, Gulli joined Reuters in 2000 before assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief of Icelandic business newspaper, Icelandic Financial News, in 2005. As well as completing his BA degree in Journalism, Photojournalism and Media Studies at California State Universities San Francisco and Sonoma, he also holds an MA in International Journalism from the University of Westminster, London.
When he’s not hard at work behind the scenes of the business, you can find Gulli at the nearest body of water, enjoying a spot of fly fishing.
James L'Esteve - Client Services Director
James steers the ship at M2 Bespoke, managing the content and delivery of all campaigns across the board and developing engaging, defined and bespoke briefs that best fit each client’s business needs.
His extensive background in content management includes more than 10 years’ experience working within the publishing sector on a wide range of projects. His experience includes working with leading brands in the music instrument field, both editorially and commercially, and creating a magazine and iPad app which won an award at the Content Marketing Awards (CMA).
James blows off steam by touring with his band Empire and frequently plays major festivals, including Download, Glastonbury and Sonisphere.
Rachel Morgan - Senior Content Manager
Rachel puts her 15 years of experience in digital and print consumer lifestyle publishing to good use at M2, liaising with writers and her substantial portfolio of clients to ensure top quality content is delivered on time and to spec.
With a BA Hons in Multi Media Journalism, her expertise in the industry helps guide clients to content success.
Rachel indulges in wine, cheese and throwing pots in her spare time. She also used to test out honeymoon locations for a living.
Toni Waterfall - Senior Content Manager
Toni is part of the furniture here at M2, having been around since 2012 – first on a freelance basis and then joining the team in 2013.
Her degree in English Language and Communication and extensive background in copywriting has earned her the ‘grammar police’ badge of the office. Toni uses her skills to look after big names from the insurance, retail, travel, lifestyle and hospitality sector, ensuring every bit of content her clients receive is tip-top: on brief, on tone and on time.
When Toni’s not at work you can find her testing out new recipes in the kitchen or writing her own ‘foodie’ blog for WHSmith.
Toni is also surprisingly proficient at reciting the alphabet backwards at high speed.
Danielle Clarke - Senior Editor / Content Manager
Danielle is one of M2’s longest serving writers and uses her skills to serve up everything from short and snappy blog posts to in-depth thought leadership articles with a helping of infographic copy and video scripts on the side. She is also a qualified editor with a degree in English Literature and Film Studies.
Danielle can’t get enough of the Great Outdoors or think of a better way to spend the weekend than taking off on her trusty mountain or road bike. Consequently, she’s also M2’s go-to weather girl of a Friday.
Matt Dando - Senior Business Editor
Matt’s background in sports and music writing began at the tender age of 16 when he composed his local football team’s matchday programme. Here at M2 Bespoke he produces a range of content including blogs, website copy and video scripts for a variety of clients and sectors. Matt graduated with a BA degree in Journalism from Brighton where he also obtained an NCTJ Preliminary Certificate.
When he’s not writing, Matt indulges his obsession with the American South, namely Western films, country music, bourbon whiskey and authentic fried chicken.
Polly Cassidy - Senior Business Editor
Polly is an established member of the writing team here at M2 Bespoke, and our resident legal expert. As well as more than five years’ marketing experience in copywriting and PR, Polly was a paralegal for almost three years, handling both Claimant and Defendant Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Claims.
Polly uses her skills and experience to pen a range of blogs and thought leadership articles across a variety of sectors. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and also has an MA and two legal qualifications (GDL and LPC).
Lisa Swan - Senior Business Editor
Lisa is an experienced editor and digital content specialist with more than ten years of experience in online content creation, content strategy, web editing, web content strategy, SEO, social media and copywriting.
One of the longest standing members of the team, Lisa’s previous roles included Digital Content Editor at City of Bristol College as well as Deputy Editor at a London-based publishing house. She holds a BA degree in French and American Studies from Middlesex University.
Lisa was once an extra in a Bollywood film. They made her wear bright yellow Lycra. She hasn’t been an extra since.
Liz Quigley - Social Media Manager
Liz heads up the social media team here at M2, putting her skills to work developing strategy and campaigns for us and our clients. A fan of all things social, she manages the company’s various channels as well as its online marketing presence.
Liz studied Media Communications at Bath Spa University and is a big music fan – she previously worked on the news team at Glastonbury Festival’s on-site radio station Worthy AM and interned at One Little Indian Records in London.
Liz has a slight addiction to collecting vinyl and retro cameras. All the better to Instagram with, we say.
Dan Chapman - Senior Designer
Dan is our man when it comes to all things visual, thanks to his ten years’ experience in graphic design. With the ability to take a concept and run with it, as well as having a great eye for detail and presentation, Dan turns his creative skills to a variety of content including infographics, animated video, web design and more.
With an increasing number of clients realising the true value of visual content alongside the written word, our resident designer is a true asset to the company.
Dan’s claim to fame is that he once shared a buffet with Ali G. Booyakasha!
Patricia Johns - Senior Writer/Editor
Patricia is one of the more experienced editors and writers at M2. She has been with the company for 15 years and has edited and written for all of M2’s various newswires and publications, including M2 EquityBites, M&A Navigator and M2 Banking & Credit News.
Patricia has an exceptional eye for detail, making her a valuable asset to the M2 Bespoke editorial team. She holds a BA degree in Business Studies from Coventry University, and worked in the market research department of Barclays before joining M2.
Patricia writes and edits articles and content, covering financial services, IT and technology, insurance, marketing, telecoms, and healthcare to name a few.