GroupM investment hire highlights growing importance of Melbourne

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 11 January 2017
Nathan Cook.

Nathan Cook's appointment as GroupM's Melbourne-based investment director underlines the growing importance of Australia's second-largest media market.

The trading veteran, who joins from a Hong Kong-based position as Maxus' head of trading in APAC, tells AdNews his remit will be to help GroupM agencies better serve current clients, win new business but, importantly, also share best practices across the four agencies, MediaCom, Mindshare, Maxus and MEC.

“All of the agencies have opportunities where a trading resource can add value to their business in very different ways,” Cook says.

“I think it has been pretty siloed (in how agencies operate) in the Melbourne community; we don't see what we have in Sydney (where agencies are located in the same building and work more collaboratively). Part of my role will be about trying to replicate those cultural behaviours, identifying those behaviours that agencies are doing really well in and sharing those learnings."

GroupM's decision to create a group trading lead in Melbourne highlight how important Victoria's capital is becoming to what traditionally has been regarded as a Sydney-centric industry.

“It's a growth market and obviously a lot of clients are based and headquartered in Melbourne not just in Australia but also the region – there should be a lot of focus on it,” he says.

“I think in the past GroupM has been seen as a very Sydney-centric operation and this now allows us to put a bit of resource and focus into our second-largest market.

“Given the likes that David Jones, for example, are starting to move their business down here in years to come, it makes a lot of sense to have this resource down here.”

GroupM's larger clients in Melbourne include Carlton United Breweries (MediaCom), NAB (Mindshare), Jetstar (Maxus) and parts of Nestle (MEC). Recently, Mindshare won Bupa, another Melbourne-based client.

Operationally, Cook will be hot-desking across the four agencies providing a "dotted line" for Melbourne trading heads and key teams to tap into his experience as required, rather than as a direct report.

Cook began his media career in 1999 at Zenith before joining Mindshare for almost nine years. He has also spent time at Ikon and worked as a consultant advising the Victorian Government’s South East Water corporation on outdoor advertising.

He will report to chief investment officer Seb Rennie.

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