Staff Reporters
Mar 9, 2022

M&C Saatchi appoints MD and creative chief in Singapore

The agency announces two new leaders following the surprise exodus of its Singapore leadership team last year.

L-R: Richard Morewood, Madina Kalyayeva, Ali Shabaz
L-R: Richard Morewood, Madina Kalyayeva, Ali Shabaz

M&C Saatchi has appointed two leaders in Singapore: Madina Kalyayeva as managing director and Ali Shabaz as chief creative officer. Kalyayeva joins from RSVP, a PR and lifestyle communications agency where she served as managing director and was responsible for building the agency’s luxury clients portfolio in Singapore and Malaysia. Prior to this, she had stints at Grey Group and McCann.

Shabaz, meanwhile, has worked with multiple agencies over the last 20 years, most recently as chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe. His work has scooped awards at Cannes Lions,  D&AD, One Show, Spikes Asia, Adfest, Effies and Webby. Both Kalyayeva and Shabaz will report to Asia CEO Richard Morewood.

In July last year, the agency announced that leaders Tanuj Philip, Anthony Khoo, Toh Han Ming, Sangram Sengupta, Katherine Teo and Nicholas Leow exited in order to take over ownership and operation of Dayre, a female-focused subscription platform which M&C Saatchi acquired and relaunched in 2019. These sudden departures took place just after the company announced its first regional hub—located in Southeast Asia—with the aim of "unifying its capabilities and winning more regional clients".

At the time, Morewood took over leadership of Singapore and said he planned to hire a new leadership team for the market. On the new appointments, Morewood said, “[Kalyayeva and Shabaz] have an amazing plan for the agency, combining world-class creativity with future-thinking digital vision, which will be a real point of difference for clients both in Singapore and as part of the M&C Saatchi Southeast Asia hub.”

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