Richard has spent his career across the world, building teams, businesses and brands. A Brit who started his career at Omnicom in London, he spent 14 years in New York with Ogilvy and WPP, before becoming Managing Director of Ogilvy Japan.
After a 3-year stint in Russia, working for an independent agency group, he joined IPG and McCann as President of Central & Eastern Europe, building the network of 34 agencies into the #1 creative group in the region (winning the Golden Drum “Network Agency of the Year” award in 4 of his 5 years in charge), as well as the most effective agency, with McCann winning European EFFIE Agency of the Year in 2014 and 2016. This success translated into business results with revenue more than doubling under his leadership profit increasing five-fold.
With I&F Grupa’s acquisition of IPG’s Nordic business, Richard joined as Group President, working with clients and his teams to build tailor-made solutions from across all I&F units and across regions, to deliver best-in-class solutions that make a decisive difference to brands. He will now relocate to the continent and lead The African Alliance as CEO, firmly intent on building the best, most respected network across Sub Saharan Africa.
He will bring with him vast business, category and cultural knowledge to help the project succeed. He has worked with clients in a diverse range of categories; FMCG (Nestle, Unilever, P&G), not so FMCG (Silentnight beds and Solvite wallpaper paste), Beverages (Coke, AB InBev, Heineken), Financial Services (HSBC, American Express, MasterCard), the automotive sector (Ford Motor Company, Jaguar & Land Rover), technology (IBM) and the energy sector (BP).
Julius Ambah is the Chief Finance Officer of The African Alliance. He is a versatile and holistic leader with over 20+ years of global experience with The Coca-Cola Company.
Until recently, he was the Regional Director for The Coca-Cola Company business in multiple Sub-Saharan markets and in charge of business strategy, business performance, leading people and relationships with multiple stakeholders.
A finance professional with vast and well-rounded experience in finance and accounting, strategy development, operations management, project management, business development, innovations, franchise management, brand strategy, supply chain operations, change management; and able to work in diverse cultural settings.
He is an energetic and self-driven people leader with a keen interest in developing talents, creating a high-performance culture and teams’ collaboration;.
Julius has strong orientation to value creation mindset through insightful perspective, a reputation to think holistically beyond the enterprise, the curiosity and attention to decide with limited and, sometimes, ambiguous information, and ability to bypass short-term losses and make best choices to solidify strategic positions for the business. Julius is an alumnus of United States International University and Strathmore University and Birmingham University (UK).
Vangelis is a seasoned director and strategy consultant with high expertise in leading projects and building & developing brands across different regions and sectors. He has 10 years of top managerial experience with a major luxury brand (Cartier) in different markets followed with 6 years of strategy consulting experience in a variety of global projects working directly with CEOs. Has a wide record in change & crisis management developed through diverse managerial experiences, including missions at global humanitarian emergencies.
After stints in financial institutions in Germany and in Canada, early in his career, Vangelis developed experience in market research and consulting at MEMRB/IRI in Central Europe where he worked on key FMCG accounts including Coca Cola and Nestle. He then joined the luxury house of Cartier where he stayed for over a decade, first in South East Europe where he established the brand in several new markets (including Greece and Turkey) before moving to London as Marketing Director of Cartier Ltd. to further develop the brand within a most competitive environment.
Following his experience with Cartier, he moved to consulting where he was involved in several international projects mainly within the luxury industry advising brands (including Bally and De Grisogono), on a variety of strategic and operational issues at CEO level. He made a 2-year break in his consulting career to join Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) where he managed emergency field missions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He returned to consulting as a partner at My Spectrum, the leading marketing consulting group operating in Europe, Middle East and Africa, delivering end-to-end business growth strategy, organizational development, and transformation.
Katarina is currently the Deputy CEO of I&F Media.
She leads agency relations with all of our top media clients, as well as leading the development of all media agencies.
She and her teams secured continuous growth across core clients in revenue and profitability metrics establishing IPG Mediabrands as #1 network across SEE. Throughout the years she worked across markets, industries and clients that included The Coca Cola Company, L’Oreal, Nestle, H&M, Carlsberg, Ahold Delhaize….
Today, her role is to integrate data, analytics and human insights in brining results to client’s business. Katarina launched and managed first data analytics agency within I&F Grupa and in SEE specialized in econometrics modelling and developed ROI driven investment strategies increasing clients` ROI.
She is graduated art historian, with MA in Cultural studies, from Goldsmiths college, University of London
Relja is a leading expert in the field of digital transformation, digital advertising and communications with over 20 years of experience in the transforming communications platforms and strategies and leading international teams.
He has led multiple local, regionally and global projects in the fields of digital transformation and management change, marketing and communications. He is a guest lecturer on digital advertising and PR at multiple colleges and professional institutions.
Since 2010, he was the Managing Director of the digital creative agency MRM Worldwide within the McCann Group in Belgrade, Serbia.
In 2014, he had joined Wunderman as the Regional Digital Director for the Middle East (WPP MENA, then rising to the role of the Managing Director of the region in 2015.
In 2018, he returned to I&F Group as Chief Digital Officer across all 12 markets.
He is a member of the international organizations IAA and IFJ. He is certified trainer of Digital Marketing Institute, Dublin, Ireland.
Throughout his extensive career, he has worked with many international and regional brands in nearly all fields from telecommunications & technology, banking and insurance, tobacco and beverages, energy and oil to FMCG. In IT technology and communications his experience extends to Microsoft, CISCO, Samsung, Huawei, Kaspersky Lab, Orange and others.
Yula has spent more than twenty years leading Commercial Finance, Marketing and Commercial Strategy within Multinational Corporate Organizations such as Colgate-Palmolive, The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Group.
Her corporate life experience includes driving New Product Development, leading Health & Wellness Corporate and Brand Communication Strategy, establishing and leading Shopper Marketing Strategy and overseeing Retail Execution Strategy and Performance as well as Customer Care.
Over the last six years, Yula is the leading Strategy Partner within My Spectrum International, leading Transformational Growth Client Engagements across Europe and Africa. Her experience ranges across a spectrum of industries such as, FMCG, Financial Services, Technology, Shopping Centers, Investment Groups, and Communications.
Nina is a well-rounded, enthusiastic professional with over ten years of experience in Shopping Center Marketing and Sponsorship Management.
She has played a key role to drive and establish the My Spectrum’s proprietary Assets-To-Media proposition and she currently leads the business within My Spectrum International but also the Assets-To-Media Center of Excellence on behalf of The African Alliance.
She has worked across a number of different types of Assets such as Shopping Centers, Entertainment Parks, Zoos, Museums bringing incremental Media stream incomes through Brand Sponsorships, Commercial Space bookings, and Brand Stage Activations. In that capacity, she has managed to connect Assets with over 300 Brands delivering win-win value through long term viable partnerships.