Former Holland Execs Move On

Bill Davis and Chris Colbert, former senior executives of defunct ad agency Holland Mark, last week sold their companion customer-relationship management business, BeNow, to a private equity company.

Davis, who was chief executive of Bos ton’s Holland Mark prior to the shop’s closure last October, is teaming with Eric Soderstrom to form a consulting practice that will formally launch in May.

The yet-to-be-named enterprise will focus on “marketing consulting and brand strategy,” said Soderstrom, Holland Mark’s former pres ident.

“We have no desire to be in the ad agency business,” Davis added.

The pair plans to open in the Boston area with about a half-dozen cli ents, Soderstrom said, de cli n ing to name the companies they are work ing with.

Colbert held various senior posts at Holland Mark as he helped Davis grow the shop into the region’s largest in de pen dent agency through the 1990s. He launched his own consulting practice in Bos ton shortly after Holland Mark ceased operations, and recently helped Veryfine expand its marketing strategy.

BeNow, Wakefield, Mass., operated autonomously from Holland Mark and specialized in CRM and database marketing. Davis and Colbert sold the venture to Brook wood Financial Partners. Financial details were not disclosed. Brookwood aims to build the 40-person BeNow as the economic climate improves, said Brookwood CEO Tom Trkla.

“They have a good technology in a growing area [of the industry],” Trkla said.

“It was a good time to sell,” offered Colbert, citing CRM’s growth in a marketplace in which many other services have seen flat or slow growth of late.

BeNow will continue to operate under the direction of CEO Brad Neuenhaus, chief technology officer Tom McGinley and svp, business development Andy Cutler. Be Now’s clients include Digitas, Mastercard and United States Smokeless Tobacco Co.