Stagwell promotes four to key leadership positions

Headshots of Stagwell's  Amy Mayurnik, Robyn Freye, Alexis Williams and Nate Napier

The holding company is growing and establishing its leadership team after completing its combination with MDC Partners in August.

Stagwell Group has promoted four of its leaders to new positions as the company angles to compete for major global accounts.

Robyn Freye will move into the position of SVP, chief growth officer in North America to lead new business and client growth efforts in the region. She was previously SVP of strategic growth and comes from MDC Partners, where she worked for three and a half years prior to the combination.

Nate Napier, who also comes from MDC Partners, was named SVP, global solutions, and will be responsible for building integrated teams and flexible working models to support global clients.

Amy Mayurnik, an MDC vet for more than a decade, is now SVP, global recruitment, where she will lead the network’s central recruiting team to support growth across Stagwell’s portfolio of agencies.

And Alexis Williams, who joined Stagwell in 2018 as EVP, has been promoted to SVP, chief brand officer in North America, and is responsible for attracting both clients and talent by elevating the new Stagwell brand.

Aside from Mayurnik, all positions are new at Stagwell as the holding company gets its leadership team in place after formally combining with MDC Partners in August. Stagwell is positioning itself as an alternative to the large holding companies for both clients and talent as it seeks to work with more big global and regional accounts.

“There’s a tremendous growth opportunity in the market,” Freye said. “Clients are craving integrated data, digital and media capabilities. They’re looking for an alternative option to that outdated holding company model. We're going to be going after the big, multinational brands and competing against the holding companies in larger reviews.”

Larger, integrated accounts require more collaboration and integration across Stagwell’s agencies. The holding company has set up alliances, such as the Doner Partners Network and the Anomaly Alliance, which makes it easier to pull talent onto integrated accounts from the group’s different constituent agencies. 

Napier, a former client of Stagwell’s at Procter & Gamble prior to joining MDC Partners, will be responsible for creating interagency teams built around solving for client outcomes. So far, the model has worked for a financial services institution and a car rental company client that Stagwell declined to name, as well as soon-to-be announced relationships with a CPG client and a healthcare company.

“From a client point of view, it’s one P&L,” Napier said. “They don't have to be concerned about who to go to for what. There’s one person responsible as a team leader for that account and making sure we are delivering outcomes. It’s our job to figure out how we deliver them.”

None of this can happen, of course, without the right talent. In her role, Mayurnik aims to transform the recruitment arm at Stagwell by centralizing resources that have existed across both legacy holding companies to leverage the power of scale.

She will work closely with Stagwell’s chief people officer Stephanie Howley to incorporate DE&I into the recruitment process as the holding company looks to bring in new talent.

“Agencies are struggling with finding great talent,” she said. “Our team has deep networks and a database of hundreds of thousands of candidates.”

As for Williams’ role, the Stagwell brand is the glue that brings all of the holding companies’ different agencies and solutions together in service of clients as it seeks more integrated work.

“Legacy Stagwell grew quickly, but didn't have a strong presence,” Williams said. “Next year we need to differentiate. What are we doing that's innovating the space, transforming and disrupting marketing?”

Stagwell, which owns agencies including Anomaly, Doner, Assembly and Code + Theory, and is led by CEO Mark Penn, saw organic revenues rise 22.8% in Q3 to $498 million, its first-quarter reporting as a combined company. The network is still smaller than the big six globally but is growing internationally through an affiliate program that gives it a presence in fast-growing markets.

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