Media Lifeline: Vizeum UK

With the launch of its strategy unit, Jump Team, can Vizeum accommodate many more chiefs?

June 2003: Aegis' second-string UK media agency, BBJ, which has been run since 1999 by Trista Grant, rebrands as Vizeum in a move to align Aegis agencies across Europe into an international network. Grant retains the managing director role at Vizeum's London office, with a brief to establish the agency's new positioning and direction within three years. She hires Matt Andrews from Michaelides & Bednash as her head of strategy.

February 2004: This proves handy because, a matter of months later, Grant decides to redress her work/life balance by shifting to a three-day week. Chris Boothby, the agency's investment director, is promoted to operations director.

July 2005: Now a more permanent solution is sought, however. Boothby is moved upstairs to become the agency's worldwide buying director in order to make way for a new joint managing director structure. The duo are Grant Millar, poached from BT, where he was the head of communications planning and media; and Matt Andrews, promoted internally from his strategy role.

July 2008: In summer, weeks ahead of a move to new offices, there's a double departure: first the managing partner Ben Wood joins the online ad network TradeDoubler; then Andrews announces he's leaving to join Mother. "It's a shame to lose Matt," Millar says.

October 2008: Now Vizeum promotes Matthew Hook to the position of managing partner, strategy. He will report to Millar, thus filling something of the gap left by Andrews - and he also has a brief to launch a new strategy unit, called Jump Team, which will further integrate the role of digital within the agency. A number of senior strategists have already been hired for Jump, including Patrick Affleck, who is to head up digital strategy.

Fast forward ...

July 2009: When Millar announces he's leaving to fill a special strategic advisory role at Virgin Media, Hook and Affleck are given the joint position of co-managing director. In recognition of their limited day-to-day management experience, however, it is announced that they are to be advised on a part-time basis by Boothby, who agrees to fill the role on Mondays, Tuesdays and alternate Wednesdays when there's an "R" in the month.


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