LONDON — South African communications and creative agency Clockwork has opened in the UK, in its first international expansion.

Clockwork was set up in 2010 by former journalists Tom Manners and Nic Simmonds, and now has a team of 120 in South Africa, with clients including Netflix, Standard Bank, Microsoft and Emirates.

The UK team will be led by Richard Dutton as managing director and Marcus Reynolds as chief strategy officer, alongside Manners and Simmonds.

Dutton was previously chief marketing officer and partner at Engine UK, as well as spending seven years at Leo Burnett, latterly as head of brand experience. He said: “The UK agency landscape is undergoing a seismic and timely disruption. Clockwork offers a fresh and honest approach to delivering work that meets client’s needs of being effective, efficient and delivering value for money.

“Tom and Nic have grown an incredibly talented agency over the past 11 years and we’re looking forward to replicating this success in the UK.”

Reynolds joins Clockwork from Wunderman Thompson in London, where he had been joint head of strategy and planning for the past seven years, including leading on strategy for BT and Centrica. He has also held senior strategy and planning roles at Ogilvy, Fallon and Publicis, as well as client-side at British Airways.

Dutton and Reynolds said the UK offer would focus on four capabilities: content and ideas; connected ecosystems; influencer identification and engagement; and data insight and measurement. They already have clients including Reckitt Benckiser and Xbox on board.

Clockwork is not the only African agency to expand into the UK market this year: Nigerian firm BlackHouse Media has just opened operations in London and Edinburgh.

Co-CEO and co-founder Manners said: “We are experiencing an acceleration in evolving business models and working patterns for businesses and brands. Clockwork is uniquely placed to deliver insightful, impactful and effective work that help brands progress their marketing practice at speed. The UK is a prime location for growth due to its talent, geographical location and world class creativity, making it the perfect choice for Clockwork’s second office.”