Robert Sawatzky
Aug 30, 2017

Vizeum gets new APAC CEO as Kristian Barnes steps up to DAN client role

Duncan Pointer is the new APAC CEO at Vizeum, as Kristian Barnes takes on a new group-level client role.

Kristian Barnes and Duncan Pointer
Kristian Barnes and Duncan Pointer

Dentsu Aegis Network has made changes to its APAC leadership team, creating a new chief client officer role across DAN for Vizeum’s veteran leader Kristian Barnes and promoting Duncan Pointer, Vizeum's managing director, to fill Barnes’ vacated CEO role. Both promotions take effect immediately.

Moving Barnes to a group role reflects DAN’s commitment to keep developing a client-centric approach across the network, the company said.

“The newly created role of chief client officer is designed to strengthen the way we work with our clients, to help them grow their brands and business,” said Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific. “Kristian is a strong operator who will ensure we provide the right capabilities to support our clients.”

Barnes told Campaign that DAN's one P&L model has reflected its client-centric focus for a while now, but the catalyst to accelerate this has come from the changing industry. "The complexity of the markets are accelerating faster than anybody anticipates," he said. "Digitisation is sweeping through categories of industry and really changing how businesses need to function."

He added, "We've always had a very strong approach to that, but I think we're recognising that we need to be more focused and more dedicated on clients to ensure that we are really marshalling the resources that we've got across and within the group to help those clients add real value."

While Barnes has helped Vizeum grow over the past few years from a local agency into a regional network, that job is now passed on to Pointer, who has been working with Barnes closely on Vizeum's growth plan.

"The overriding priority will be to continue to grow Vizeum at a similar or accelerated pace that we've seen over the past two or three years," Pointer told Campaign. While losing Barnes to the broader group may be a loss for Vizeum, Pointer said their close working relationship and succession planning has ensured continuity. Pointer added if there's any future need to bolster his leadership team at Vizeum, they'll consider it. 

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