The right mix and balance

OB Consulting has decades of strategic and creative expertise and experience in building brands across multiple industries. Insurance and financial services, construction and property, tech and engineering sectors. Combined with digital and design production, asset delivery and project management.


Our core team and supporting strategic partnerships, are all specialists in their field of expertise, from brand, pr, marketing and business strategy, to creative, design, digital and technology.

Jonathan Squirrell

Founder & Director OB Brand Consulting

Jonathan started design agency, Barefoot, in 1993, delivering brand and marketing solutions to professional services clients. He merged his agency with old friend Julian Atkins to form OceanBarefoot in 2006, and more recently they opened OB Brand Consulting. Jon has been key to agency successes throughout the insurance sector, including brand consultation for Pro Global, Ebix, LMG, LIIBA, LIMOSS, Lloyd’s, PPL, CII and TOM. He initiated and led OB’s involvement as Project Manager for the Insurance Museum initiative, alongside building the museum’s brand, strategy and campaigns.

Julian Atkins

Founder & Director OB Brand Consulting

Julian started his professional creative life as an Architect at Aukett Associates, before founding his own agency Ocean Creative in 1999, delivering brand and marketing solutions to insurance software providers. In 2006, he joined forces with his old friend Jonathan Squirrell to form OceanBarefoot, and then more recently they opened OB Brand Consulting together. During this time, Julian has worked with a breadth of clients including AXA, QinetiQ, Equifax, Ebix, LMG, LIIBA, LIMOSS, Lloyd’s, PPL, CII, Carbon Underwriting and TOM, and more recently has been the driving force behind the Insurance Museum initiative, building the museum brand, strategy and campaigns.

Nicola Manning

Marketing Manager OB Consulting

With a BA Hons, Nicola began her marketing career at leading branding consultancy CDT, helping the agency to build their reputation within the professional services sector. In 2008, Nicola was headhunted to drive the marketing team at top 10 brand consultancy, Purpose. Her role focussed on raising the agency profile and project managing campaigns to help achieve key business objectives. Nicola is currently the Marketing Manager at OB Brand Consulting and works with a range of key clients to enhance their marketing strategies and communication activity.

Vanessa Marchant

Consultant Creative Lead OB Consulting

Vanessa is a senior digital and design strategist, and consultant creative lead on many key projects at OB Brand Consulting. Vanessa has developed expertise from nearly 26 years in the industry, with extensive experience in the publishing sector and agency side at senior and team lead level. She brings to bare her broad skill sets, as well as building and delivering successful, integrated digital campaigns for OB's clients, within both the insurance sector and for wider industry leaders.

Debbie Gossington

Consultant Design Lead OB Consulting

A creative and versatile graphic designer with over twenty years agency experience. Debbie began her career with London agency Wonderland Design, working with clients such as PRS, Swiss Bank and Motorola. After living in Sweden for two years, Debbie returned to the UK, joining a South London based agency, heading up the creative team and later moving to a strategic brand consultancy as a Senior Designer. Debbie is now the Consultant Design Lead at OB and works on a breadth of branding, print and digital focused projects.

Sarah Begley

Account Manager OB Brand Consulting

For almost 20 years, Sarah worked at IPC/Time Magazines, where she led a team of designers and account managers/print buyers, tasked with the creation, coordination and delivery of marketing collateral for well-established brands such as Country Life, Marie Claire and Woman & Home. Sarah led the team through dramatic changes in publishing, as requirements gradually evolved from direct mail and print based promotions, to include a growing emphasis on digital communications. Since joining OB Brand Consulting, Sarah has worked with a number of key clients to ensure all projects are delivered on time through a well-coordinated approach to every aspect of the project.

Helen Wright

Managing Director Lysander PR

A former B2B editor and now a PR specialist, Helen Wright has a deep respect for the value of independent journalism, good writing and tenacious thinking. After a career in publishing, including cutting her teeth as a reporter for a leading publication embedded in the international (re)insurance market, Helen joined forces with Roddy in 2017 and is now Managing Director of Lysander PR.

Steve Colton

Executive Director Lysander PR

Steve is an experienced communications practitioner whose career spans a broad range of sectors - in the UK and internationally - including specialty (re)insurance; life and pensions; general insurance; healthcare and protection; and retail, corporate and investment banking. He has worked in communications leadership roles for a number of household names including Aspen, QBE, Prudential, Aviva and NatWest, and joined the Lysander team as Senior Account Director in 2021.

Jeff Ward

Insurance Technology Entrepreneur

Visionary leader of the team that created the PPL electronic placing platform that is currently proving its value in enabling the London Insurance Market to keep placing and binding re/insurance business remotely.
A highly experienced Insurance Technology specialist and entrepreneur with 30+ years of proven leadership, innovation, business, marketing and sales skills. Insurance Day included Jeff in their list of top 50 industry influencers, and said that, "Jeff is recognised as a driving force behind industry modernisation initiatives, as well as for his vocal honesty about the necessity for the industry to revolutionise the way in which it does business".


Our strategic partners have years of experience and expertise in the market, and give OB Brand Consulting specialist support across (re)insurance PR, insurtech, and marketing and business strategy.

Staffed by industry experts, Lysander PR specialises in delivering PR, marketing and communications for the global (re)insurance industry and its technology providers.

Our key partnership with Lysander PR has helped us shape and deliver high profile industry focused PR, comms and content, including for the Insurance Museum, the CII and Ebix.

Fifty One Films is a full service production company specialising in creating high-end moving image, their work includes 2D and 3D animation, 360-degree filming, through to cinema-quality promos for large corporate organisations.

Together we’ve created impactful video content for clients such as BCO, Insurance Museum and Pro Global, really helping to bring their brands to life.

OceanBarefoot is an award-winning creative agency, working not only with established market-leading enterprises, but also tech and exciting entrepreneurial start-ups. Their mission is to build distinctive brands that add real value.

OceanBarefoot has provided full service creative design capability and expertise in delivering content, collateral and digital assets for over 10 years, and they have been central to our success across the sector.

Jeff Ward is a highly experienced Insurance Technology specialist and entrepreneur with 30+ years of strong and proven leadership, innovation, business, marketing and sales skills.

We have worked closely with Jeff since 2001 in many different scenarios and capacities, and together we have successfully delivered numerous insurtech brand projects including work for Ebix and PPL.

If you'd like to know more about what we do and how we might be
able to help you, please get in touch