GroupM appoints Jeff Hunt as its local CFO as it looks to bolster local management

JH GroupMGroupM has created the new role of chief financial officer as it continues to rework its management structure ahead of the impending departure of chairman John Steedman, appointing Jeff Hunt to the post.

Hunt takes up the role from today having previously worked out of Hong Kong as senior vice president & CFO, Asia Pacific & Japan for international software company CA Technologies.

Australia’s biggest media buying group is currently on the hunt for a new CEO ahead of Steedman’s impending departure, with the most likely candidate Danny Bass jumping ship to take the CEO role of rival group IPG Mediabrands earlier this month

MEC CEO Peter Vogel is understood to be a frontrunner to replace Steedman now.

It also comes as the group continues to manage the fallout from the Mediacom misreporting scandal which has seen clients moved around the group and a new compliance unit set up, which had been overseen by Bass until his sudden departure.

“Jeff is a highly motivated, results-oriented and commercially savvy finance leader with significant amount of experience on the financial front in Australia, Asia Pacific and North America,” said GroupM chairman John Steedman.

“His broad leadership experience will be a strong complement to our agency CFOs and we are pleased to have him on board.”

This is the first time GroupM has had a in-house CFO, based in Sydney, with the group previously using WPP shared services FinancePlus, overseen by regional CFO Nadaraja Kanniappan.

Hunt said he was pleased to be joining GroupM.

“I am excited to be joining GroupM, Australia’s leading media agency group, at this pivotal time of great opportunity within the media industry,” he said. “I look forward to working in partnership with the agencies’ CFOs to drive future business growth.”

In his new role, Hunt will work closely with the CFOs of all GroupM companies and the new CEO which is currently being headhunted, following the decision of Steedman to step down last month.

Despite the appointment of a new local CFO GroupM said its new compliance team would still be headed by chief investment officer Sebastian Rennie, who recently took over from Danny Bass, rather than Hunt.

Nic Christensen 


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