Iris has appointed Australian Luke Nathans as its new regional CEO for Asia Pacific as the agency continues to focus on expanding its operations in APAC and MENA. Nathans, who presently holds the position of regional development director for the region, will take on the role this month, reporting into the iris joint global CEOs’ Ian Millner and Stewart Shanley.
Nathans will be responsible for the agency’s impressive client base in Asia which includes some of the worlds’ biggest blue-chip brands including Diageo, adidas, Lonely Planet, Tiger, Coca-cola, Shell, Philips and Heineken. He will continue to chair the Asia Pacific board of iris, which comprises the leaders of iris’ offices in Asia as well as its leaders in creative, planning, consulting and digital.
One of Nathans’ primary objectives in the coming months will be to continue iris’ impressive recent growth in Australia, following a series of wins. In June,iris’ Sydney operation was tasked with launching a global digital youth strategy for Lonely Planet, before pipping 50 agencies to the post in the same month to land the brief to bring Australian tourists back to New Zealand’s earthquake ravaged Christchurch and going on to win new client, lingerie brand Bendon.
Ian Millner, joint global CEO of iris, said: “Luke has been at iris for four years now and has been a key part of driving the development of the agency proposition, the agency product, and key client relationships in Australia, Indonesia, India, China and Singapore. As the network grows, it will become more important to release more autonomy internationally to enable iris to continue empowering talented and entrepreneurial people in the diverse and exciting markets we now operate in.
Commenting on his appointment Nathans said: “It’s an honour to be asked to drive iris’ operations in Asia Pacific. In the last 12 months we’ve experienced unprecedented growth that has led to us becoming one of the leading creative innovation networks in the region.
“Australia will be a key focus moving forward, the team there have had an incredible run of success in recent months winning 8 from 8 pitches on some of the biggest names in the country. They’ve got some awesome work in development and I think the next 12 months are going to be exceptional for them.
“Our growing success has been due to our ability to create world-class participation brands. We’ve got a fantastic portfolio of progressive brands that want to be known for more than just the goods and services they offer, brands that want to be part of popular culture. This desire, coupled with some of the best minds in the business, will ensure that we are the agency the most talented people want to work for, and the one clients want to work with.”
Nathans will play a key role in iris’ forthcoming entry into MENA as the agency eyes a number of locations in the region. iris recently entered Indonesia, launching a licensing deal with Indonesian agency Nava+. iris’ current headcount in Asia stands at 400 spanning its APAC offices in Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta and Delhi.
Nathans was promoted to regional development director for Asia Pacific in August 2011, following his appointment at iris as managing director of its Asia Pacific experiential arm. Prior to this, he worked for agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, OgilvyOne, Belgiovane Williams Mackay, G2, The One Centre and TBWA Tequila UK.