• Jake Smith - Brandex Financial
    Jake Smith Managing Director
  • Julian Steedman - Brandex Financial
    Julian Steedman Chairman
  • Michelle Gathercole - Brandex Financial
    Michelle Gathercole Communications Consultant
  • Chris Donaldson - Brandex Financial
    Chris Donaldson Digital Director
  • Judith Cousins - Brandex Financial
    Judith Cousins Client Services Director
  • Rob Hill - Brandex Financial
    Rob Hill Marketing Executive

Jake Smith

Managing Director

Jake has worked in Capital Markets for more than 20 years, delivering integrated brand, marketing and PR campaigns for FinTechs, RegTechs, Banks, Exchanges, Trading Platforms, Brokerages and Consultants.

Always looking to innovate and do things better, he set up Brandex Financial in 2014 to combine his interests of FinTech, RegTech and Capital Markets.

During his career he has worked for J.P. Morgan, Citi and HSBC, delivering marketing and PR campaigns, promoting foreign exchange, fixed income, cash management and trade services to corporate and financial institution clients around the world.

Before establishing Brandex Financial, he was Head of Communications at CLS, a financial market infrastructure which settles approximately US $ 5 trillion of foreign exchange transactions every day. He was also Head of Marketing and PR for FXMarketSpace, a multi-million dollar foreign exchange trading platform, funded by CME Group and Thomson Reuters. In this role he managed all marketing and media relations, promoting the successful launch of the platform and subsequent product launches.

Jake is a marketing and communications professional, with a specific interest in how technology is transforming the Capital Markets. His expertise spans brand development and delivery across multiple channels, including media relations, sales support, advertising, direct, CRM, events, websites, social media, webinars, animation and video.

Julian Steedman


Julian has developed Brand Experience over the last 20 years and takes overall responsibility for the Brandex family of companies. His expertise and wide-ranging experience in creating and developing international corporate brands began with his training in graphic design.

He went on to work for Norwich Union insurance (now Aviva Plc), the UK’s largest Insurance company, and swiftly went on to become Head of Design within the corporate division.

Julian has shaped Brand Experience’s proactive approach to national and international business, and has led his team in delivering successful communications to a broad range of corporate clients around the world.

Julian was appointed to work alongside the internal management team that implemented the Tokio Marine Kiln merger. In his career he has been strategically involved in brand positioning projects for companies such as Tokio Marine America, HCC, CNA Hardy, IGI, Aviva, MGAA, BIBA, Atrium, European Financial Services Round Table, Towergate/CCV in 17 countries.

Michelle Gathercole

Communications Consultant

Michelle works with FinTech and Financial Services clients, providing PR and communication services covering issues such as changing regulatory requirements, cutting edge technology, trading and risk management. Previous roles include leading the Global Markets' media relations teams at Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale, and also working on the agency side with Argentus PR.

Michelle is a financial and professional services communications expert with 20 years' experience working for leading financial and professional services firms in highly complex and demanding environments across agency, in-house and contract roles. She has wide-ranging understanding of technical issues for business, including financial and professional services and extensive experience working with firms dealing with regulatory issues.

Chris Donaldson

Digital Director

After studying graphic design at Norwich School of Art and Design (now Norwich University of the Arts) and Suffolk College, Chris worked in the design team at HMSO and Banner Business Supplies before joining Design Company (now Brand Experience) in 1999 and becoming Head of Design.

Over the past 15 years he has developed the digital side of the business, and now manages an ever-expanding creative and web team. He specialises in the delivery of integrated print and digital projects and boasts an enviable portfolio of highly successful online campaigns including a Fairbanking award for the Plan.Save.Get website developed for Saffron Building Society. He has built up relationships with a wide range of both local and international clients.

Judith Cousins

Client Services Director

Judith has 20 years of experience in the delivery of strong and effective corporate brands, communications and campaigns, managing the team of designers and account managers to deliver projects on brief, on budget and to deadline.

Throughout her time at Brand Experience she has built up an impressive portfolio of public, private and third sector clients, using her wealth of industry, public-funded and partnership experience to build positive, long-standing relationships.

Overall client retention is high, as an example one client has been with the agency for over eight years, with a throughput of in excess of 570 jobs in the past three-and-a-half years, under Judith’s management. Judith has worked with CLS since 2012, and has project-managed four sets of full and interim Report & Accounts, exhibition stand designs, digital newsletters, HTML emails, and various printed programme brochures for the organisation, including versions in Japanese and Mandarin.

Rob Hill

Marketing Executive

Rob started at Brandex Financial in 2019 to deliver digital marketing campaigns and work with clients on their branding and media strategies.

He joined from ADinstuments where he worked as a marketing coordinator, delivering the company’s brand to a European audience, specifically through digital marketing.

Rob studied marketing at Macquarie University and started his career working for SaaS start-up Rewardle in Sydney, where he grew with the company through its development into a media platform. He has a keen interest in programming and technology, especially within the FinTech industry.

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