THE BRIEF: 

Looking for a superstar who is ready to step up into a Managing Director role for Alpha Century. This person will be supported by the CEO & Co-founder Hugo Feiler who is in the process of setting up a new business and so looking for support with the running of Alpha Century. Spiritually, this person needs to embrace the entrepreneurial mentality which defines this agency. The leadership team believe that Alpha has scratched the surface of growth, and are now looking to further exploit the 7 stars partnership further in 2019 for continued organic growth. In an ideal world, this person will help build the agencies external profile and remain true to the agencies values of life matters, mutual respect and behaving like an entrepreneur. They are not looking for someone to come in and rip everything apart. They have a good rhythm in the agency and want this person to input into the strategy and build on their existing successes for the changing media landscape.


Proposed ideas:

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WILL NICHOLLS MANAGING PARTNER BBH SPORT

Will Nicholls is amazing. He has a really interesting background having started his career at BBH, worked client side at Nokia where he worked in sponsorships and entertainment at a time when Nokia where still doing well. He then moved to Dare again at a time when they were flying creatively. He co-ran client service and helped set up Dare Lab and stayed during the merger with MCBD when the tide started to change. He ran the Boots business at Mother and then we placed him at Saatchis where he ran account management and grew the Direct Line Business. Ewan Patterson ECD of BBH Sport then convinced him to come and join him to run and grow BBH Sport, which he has done until now.

He has grown BBH Sport from £75k to £2.6m in revenue operating at 40% margin by his third year. He is most proud of the work they have done on Samsung for Rio, the Bwin world cup work, winning the entire Western Union business as a result of winning a Western Union sponsorship business.

But BBH have decided to collapse the separate P+L’s and as a result Will’s role will be made redundant. His current salary is £150k but I do think short term he would consider a shorter working week.

Portfolio is here. CV is here.

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KATE MODELAND - MANAGING PARTNER MCCANN LONDON

Kate joined McCann when Zaid Al Zaidy was at the helm. The ambition then was to turn McCann around creatively. She loved her first two years there, working with amazing creative partners Rob & Lolly (ex W+Kers), and doing interesting work on brands that traditionally never did anything interesting. During her time at McCann Kate has definitely been the person brought onto accounts to sort them out, both in terms of driving the creative product and the business. 

Initially Premier Foods (2015), where they managed to gain both creative success with campaigns on Homepride and Bisto. The Bisto Together Project not only saw the quality of the work increase immensely, but created a media neutral campaign platform that allowed McCann as an agency to push the boundaries beyond ATL into social, digital and PR. The resulting increase in revenue was significant. As a result they then got opportunities to work on brands (Ambrosia, Mr Kipling, Angel Delight) that had previously been held by JWT. 

More recently Kate has been running the Mastercard UK account. When she first took it on, it was a slightly dysfunctional team, highly stressed and overworked. Kate has built an almost entirely new team , who now have time to think, get things right and work at the top of their game. Furthermore, the revenue has increased by 38%. She has managed to grow the business beyond McCann London and their partner agency McCann Enterprise are now working on an internal B2B brand positioning project which is likely to grow beyond this initial project and scope. 

Bugaboo is a passion project for Kate. She led the successful pitch for the brand positioning project following the acquisition of the brand by VC Bain Capital.  Interestingly as part of the scoping on this project, they have been working to develop a new pricing model which shifts the conversation from hours to outputs, reframing their value, and also proposing a new revenue share partnership model.

Kate sits on the McCann World Group Integration Board (there is one representative from each MWG agency), with the objective of driving integration through the group into their partner agencies. Since midway through 2018, Kate has taken on joint responsibility of the AM department, they have established a mission and vision for the department, put in place various initiatives to elevate the quality of the department: to drive creative aptitude and passion, commerciality and business leadership, with a bit of fun thrown into the mix.  

Kate is not your classic big agency girl. On the contrary I think culturally she comes across as someone who really cares but with an honesty and no bullshit approach which I think garners respect. She is ambitious, and I think having kids has stalled her career something which has frustrated her at McCann. But she is ready to push on and is wanting to do interesting things with interesting people.

Kate’s current salary is £120k.

CV is here

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MIKE WILTON - MD M&C SAATCHI LA

Mike is a Brit looking to return home. He went out to LA 4 years ago and has progressed to Joint MD. When he first took on the role of MD, the agency was in need of a new business turnaround. They had just lost a significant income earner, and Mike very quickly helped the agency return to a position of strength.

70% of the income at M&C LA comes from project based work. He has helped the agency build credibility in entertainment vs just advertising and really enjoys the new business hustle as well as knuckling down to get to work they can be proud of. They have moved from an agency which generates 5 big campaign films for a client per year to being able to produce 300 pieces of content.

Mike has been instrumental in driving the diversity agenda within the agency, and last year launched Majority - a production agency which seeks to champion female directors.

I have known Mike since he was an account manager. He is a thoroughly decent chap, who brings a very positive energy.

I think he could be really interesting for this role with you Hugo. A modern thinker who has the experience, but without being too long in the tooth.

Mike’s current salary is £150k when the conversation rate isn’t so good. But I would say - he is realistic about salary expectations in the UK. That said, I doubt he would move for less than this figure.

CV is here

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SARAH JONES - MANAGING PARTNER, BROOKLYN BROTHERS

The first person who sprang to mind when we last spoke was Sarah Jones.

Sarah has gone from strength to strength since joining The Brooklyn Brothers. She joined as client partner and was quickly promoted to run their equivalent of Account Management. Sarah is one of those who I think will go all the way. Kind of like a Katie Lee 5 years ago. She is a new business whizz  who oozes charm and personality and is a thoroughly good egg too. 

Prior to the Brooklyn Brothers, she was at Grey running  Lucozade sport, and got very involved in new biz, fronting and leading pitches with the management team there. She loved Grey under Nils leadership but decided to move on when a few of the female figures she looked up to left following the management changes there. 

From her previous experience at Fallon where she lent into digital ideas and the agency Momentum she understands and is passionate about the entire shopper journey. She is driven by the intersection of creativity and culture. 

Sarah is definitely someone very special. What I think stands Sarah apart from others is the boundless energy she brings to the room, something you can't quite quantify on a piece of paper.

She is very well regarded at Brooklyn Brothers. What appeals to her about the role with you there at Alpha is the opportunity to step up to MD. But more than Katie - I think she would enjoy having your support and mentorship.

Sarah is on £120k and a generous bonus scheme based on performance.

CV is here.


AMY GARRETT - EX GENERAL MANAGER DROGA 5 LONDON

Amy Garrett, was General Manager at Droga5 London. She helped set the London agency up. From pitching, winning and running the FarFetch business, winning the Impulse business, to getting 3 million views for the collaboration film between Rudimental and Beats by Dre, to launching a new channel for the BBC called Brit, to name but a few of her achievements. She has not only led every new business pitch, with a successful track history of success, she has operationally helped set up the agency here in London. Amy gets stuff done and knows how to make it happen. What she loves most is genuine creative partnership. She was very close to Nik Studzinski (ECD of Droga now at Karmarama) and he brought her over to Droga5 when they first opened.

Droga5 has been a turbulent journey (despite their most recent best Independent Agency accolade) and Amy had invested lots of time, energy and belief in the most recent senior management team, however this year has been a tough one financially and so recently parted ways. Amy is currently working with Beano leading their in-house content studio.

Prior to Droga5, Amy was leading Boots and ran InBev Becks Green Box project at Mother, an award winning creative platform which featured an augmented reality networked art gallery.

Amy’s salary at Droga 5 was £135k which I know brings her above your ballpark figure but I do think Amy is worth you meeting nevertheless. I don’t think she would push for more than this figure, and perhaps this could be negotiated somewhat if you were willing to give a little equity.

CV is here.


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ZENA BRUGES - EX MD OF THE FUTURE LABORATORY

Zena Bruges is hard to put in a box. She has delivered innovative experiences, art instillations as well as mainstream ad campaigns working across design studios, ad agency 101, a trends laboratory and for herself as a consultant to emerging businesses in the creative industries - mainly tech and architecture. 

Zena also mentors tech start ups through the Friday Club.

Zena grew Jason Bruges Studio from 2 to 20 people leading the concepting, implementation of and delivery of immersive art based experiences around the world… often up to 30 different projects at any one time for a variety of global brands. 

Zena comes with the understanding and experience of delivering campaigns in agencies too, she’s particularly proud of the work for Avios at 101, working closely with Laurence Green and Rich Flintham.. (Richard insisted on finding a way to make white goods fly… rather than use CGI.. Zenafound the man that could!!) and worked as the MD for the Future Laboratory, her brief to get a 60 strong business into shape to ensure profitability, growth and a better business mindset. 

The above undersells her proven ability and can do spirit to make the impossible happen! 

Zena is hugely passionate about the creative industry, and her energy came across in bucket loads. I do think if you are looking to exploit relations with 7 stars further she can definitely help with that as well as running the agency, but I don’t think she would position herself as a natural new biz machine. Culturally speaking I think you guys would really connect so I do think its worthwhile you meeting her. Zena’s salary expectations are the £120k mark.

CV is here.