BIC Welcomes IPG’s SVP of Client Finance & Operations Rick Weber

2/20/2016 Unknown 0 Comments

Accepting a gracious invitation from BIC Professor Michael Farmer to be grilled by students in his Internal Management class, Rick Weber of IPG shared insights into how holding companies manage their agencies -- and vice versa. 

Armed with knowledge gleaned from Professor Farmer's book Madison Avenue Manslaughter, BICsters were polite but diligent in seeking answers to why the financial wellbeing of holding companies does not always trickle down to its agencies. 

According to Brian Wieser, the most prominent media communications analyst on Wall Street,  "IPG reported 4Q15 earnings with +5.2% organic revenue growth, helping the company to a +6.1% organic growth rate, above ours and consensus expectations. Margins were also strong as the company posted a year-over-year gain of 120bps in the quarter and 100bps for the year. We continue to rate IPG Buy and maintain our YE2016 price target of $24."  

Some BICster questions included: Are agencies still run like “ant colonies,” where every 'ant' is supposed to know what needs to be done and is left alone to do it? What will it take to get an agency CEO to change the way he / she manages – to restore agencies to partnership status with clients? What are the complications of organizing and managing a “holding company relationship?” Of getting agencies to work together on behalf of clients? 

Among his many words of wisdom, Rick Weber emphasized the need to cultivate negotiation skills as one of the keys to succeeding in the complex organizational structure as well as in the ever-evolving communications landscape.