Richard Kirshenbaum is one of the most sought-after personalities in advertising and branding.
In 1987, at age twenty-six, Richard cofounded the Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners agency, which pioneered innovative concepts like the pop-up store, sidewalk advertising, and other forms of high-visibility guerrilla marketing. At the time of its sale, KBP was the largest independent advertising agency in the United States, with one billion dollars in billings and well-known divisions such as Media Kitchen and Varick Media. The agency’s notable clients included BMW, Jergens, Hennessy, Moet & Chandon, Van Cleef & Arpels, Snapple, Coach and Target.
Currently, Richard is CEO and Founder of NSG/SWAT, a high-profile boutique branding agency he launched in 2011. Clients include Wheels Up Aviation, Il Palagio - Sting & Trudie Styler’s Tuscan vineyard, Starwood Hotels, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, Jockey, EleVen by Venus Williams and Greg Norman’s Shark Enterprises, Kaleidoscope Labs, Marcus: By Goldman Sachs, HFZ and Bona Furtuna. He is also co-founder, with music icon Chris Blackwell, of Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum; co-founder of SWAT Equity, a fund that invests in emerging consumer brands; and was also an investor and Director of The 88, a social media company recently acquired by Havas.
Richard has lectured at Harvard Business School, The Newhouse School of Communications, appeared on 20/20, CNN, MSNBC and made a cameo in Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. He was also voted one of the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers by Us Weekly Magazine and has appeared on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Styles section. He was recognized in Crain’s New York Business’s “40 under Forty”, inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2000 and received the Jack Avrett Volunteer Spirit Award for public achievement. He also placed second of the top one hundred US entrepreneurs and listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful New Yorkers” in Gotham Magazine, December 2012.
An accomplished entrepreneur, Richard is also an acclaimed author of numerous articles and books. His first novel, Rouge, published by St. Martin’s Press in June 2019, was acquired by Sony Pictures and will be produced by Academy Award-winning producer Wendy Finerman. He is also the author of the business book Under the Radar, the relationship guide Closing the Deal, now translated into nine languages; the advertising memoir Madboy, an Amazon bestseller; Isn’t That Rich? a #1 Amazon bestseller; he has also been a contributor to Us Weekly’s “Fashion Police” and written comedy for the late Joan Rivers, among others. Richard is also an accomplished playwright, and his work has been produced by David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company.
Richard is committed to furthering diversity in the advertising community and is proud of the Richard Kirshenbaum Scholarship, founded in 2010, for underserved teens in high school through the TORCH organization, and he was honored with the 2011 L.I.G.H.T. Award. He has served on the Board of Directors of the One Club for Copy and Art, The Whitney Museum’s Photography Board and has been honored and served on the Board of Arts Connection. He was also recently honored at his alma mater Syracuse University’s Newhouse School for his accomplishments in the media industry as one of their top 50 graduates.
Richard lives in New York City with his wife, Dana, a former Entertainment & Media Publicist and their three children, Lucas, Talia and Georgia.