Jeremy Gayton on his move to Lg2

The Taxi executive talks to strategy about building agencies from scratch and finding great chemistry.

Starting Sept. 8, Jeremy Gayton, Taxi’s chief development officer, is heading to Lg2 Toronto to help lead the shop as partner, VP general manager.

He joins fellow partners and co-CDs Nellie Kim and Chris Hirsch, who just started at the Toronto office this past month.

“I was first intrigued by Lg2′s world-class reputation,” says Gayton. “What sealed it for me was getting to know all the partners in Montreal and Quebec City, and finally sitting down with Chris and Nellie. I felt like we had an instant chemistry. In the end it was a very easy decision.”

Gayton’s role will be similar to that of Mathieu Roy and Mireille Côté out of the Montreal and Quebec City offices, respectively, Hirsch tells strategy. He’ll be responsible for general leadership of the agency, such as developing new business, while Hirsch and Kim will be responsible for creative strategy.

“Lots of creative people have a business-sided mind to them,” says Hirsch. “We’ve been working since July 15 on a few projects here and there. But at the end of the day, you need a managing director with that agency vision who can take those creative-minded individuals like Nellie and I, and turn it into reality.

“If you look at most startups, it’s traditionally a three-person team,” he adds.

On why the duo chose Gayton as their third, Hirsch says his track record speaks for itself. “He successfully launched Taxi 2, and went on to become president of Taxi Canada.” Following his 2009 promotion to president, he was again promoted to chief development officer, responsible for growing the agency in Canada and the U.S. in 2013.

Gayton, who was approached by Lg2 two to three months ago, says the idea of starting an agency also appealed to him. “I love the opportunity to build something from scratch. I loved that with Taxi 2 and Taxi.” Finally, the fact that Lg2 was independent was also a factor in his decision to join the new Toronto shop.

The Toronto office of the Quebec-based agency has been gearing up since mid-July and is set to open in September, says Hirsch. In the meantime, Kim and Hirsch are sitting in their new 7,000-square foot digs in Toronto’s Liberty Village. Hirsch says they’ve got a new client they’re set to announce in November, and once Gayton is on board, the trio will start tackling the hiring practice for the agency.