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First Names Group

How a significant return on VC investment justified a bold, personality-driven rebrand

What’s one way to bolster the workforce and boost business growth? Put your employees at the heart of the brand. Just as we did with First Names Group.

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Following a management buyout supported by venture capitalists, AnaCap Financial Partners, the trust and corporate services arm of IFG International needed a unifying vision and a new brand to rally around. With offices in numerous global locations, siloed teams and a broad portfolio of clients, creating an identity that employees, prospective clients and investors could buy into was essential.

After interviewing existing employees and stakeholders, it was clear that this business – even more so than others – was defined by its people and the confidence and trust they instil. So we put those people first.

We created a bold new brand and vision under a new name: First Names Group. A visual language featuring the actual first names of every employee highlighted the business’s commitment to – and faith in – its people and brought a human element to financial services. We also commissioned stunning photography of the business’s distinct locations to further weave the brand’s heritage and pride through its look and feel and reflect its commitment to local communities.

“Every single aspect of The Frameworks’ delivery, from pitch to board presentation, was exceptional. The team worked so hard to engage stakeholders at all levels across the business in every location in the process so that by the day of the big “reveal”, every member of staff felt part of it and excited. The reveal, which was meticulously managed to take place in each location at exactly the same time, was perfectly directed and supported, as was every stage of the process. From the written word to website design and development, and everything in between. The Frameworks are masters of their craft and I have absolutely no hesitation at all in recommending them.”
Jennie Jewell, Former Group Head of Marketing and Communications, First Names Group

To launch First Names Group, we coordinated all activity so that employees found out about the new brand at the same time. Their first exposure to First Names was a short film (starring employees, of course) aired in local cinemas. The striking new branding was applied to business cards, launch packs, and the offices themselves, with each asset drawing on the people as its USP.

The reaction from the team was immensely positive, but the biggest reinforcement came from the strides taken by First Names Group. In the years following the rebrand, the business more than doubled in size. AnaCap would go on to realise a 2.6x return on investment when it sold the business in 2019.

Smart branding and investment in employees really does pays off.