Sands joined Elmwood as a 21-year-old, was managing director at 24 and by 27 had taken over the company in an MBO. The 53-year-old is now chairman, and the 24-strong agency he bought has well over 100 staff at its HQ in Leeds and around the world in London, Edinburgh, New York, Melbourne and Singapore.

Elmwood’s success has been built on its reputation for effectiveness – it’s won more International Design Effectiveness Awards than any other agency – and its most recent results saw turnover leap by 25% to £13.3m. Sands was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List in 2011.