Spark Foundry COO Duncan Parfitt to join Ian Perrin’s Speed as partner

Spark Foundry’s chief operating officer, Duncan Parfitt, is joining Ian Perrin’s independent media agency, Speed, as a partner.

Perrin said Parfitt is not just “the smartest guy in the market”, but one he would want a beer with, while Parfitt said Perrin impressed him with an honest vision and “a cool coffee mug”.

Parfitt has been with Blue 449 and Spark Foundry for nine years

“As Speed has rapidly grown, I realised we needed to find new, senior talent to ensure that we continue deliver the most innovative and business focused media solutions for our increasing client base,” Perrin, the agency’s chief accelerator, said.

“So, I looked to find not only the smartest guy in the market, but also someone I would most like to have a beer with. And Duncan is both of those things.”

Perrin added that Parfitt’s capabilities will be attractive to marketers, particularly at an agency like Speed, which is resisting the usual pressures of scale and billings.

“We are different to many agencies in that we aim blend consulting and agency skillsets to deliver agile, innovation and objective work, rather than the industry standard of scale, billings growth and deals,” Perrin said.

“Duncan’s world-class technical capability in data, analytics and performance media will make this offer even more enticing to many outcome driven marketers.”

Speed, since Perrin launched it in 2016, has added the likes of Japan Airlines, QIC, Paspaley, Futura, MCoBeauty and Dry July to its client roster. That roster impressed Parfitt – who was Blue 449’s managing director before Spark Foundry absorbed the brand in March and he stepped into the COO role – as did the agency’s operating model.

“The success of Speed has been incredible in a short period of time, not just in terms of clients, but also, the unique solutions and different operating models they are pursuing. I look forward to helping it grow even further,” Parfitt said, who is due to start working with Speed in the new year.

“On meeting Ian I was immediately impressed with his simple and honest vision for the business and his ability to cut through the usual bullshit to form real business strategies for clients.

“He also gave me a cool coffee mug.”

Chairman of Publicis Media ANZ and acting CEO of Spark Foundry, John Preston, said of Parfitt’s impending departure: “I’d personally like to thank Duncan for his amazing contribution, passion and professionalism, over the past nine years. We wish him well on his next step change as an owner operator of Speed. We will be announcing Duncan’s replacement shortly.”


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