Global CFO Excellence Awards 2021

4 Acquisition International - Global CFO Excellence Awards 2021 Apr21783 Most Innovative Marketing & Advertising CFO (Latin America): Agustín Correa The world of marketing is key to businesses thriving, but creating an environment where this is profitable both for the bottom line and for the people who work to create it is not always easy. There are many challenges that must be faced within a world of work that is currently in constant flux. We take a look at Agustín Correa of Wunderman Thompson, one of the leading names when it comes to leading a business’s finances, to see how he has achieved such success for both his firm and in Acquisition International’s Global CFO Excellence Awards 2021. or more than 20,000 professionals in 90 countries, the name Wunderman Thompson is a beacon of light and hope. The firm’s role has grown dramatically over the years, leading various clients into a new world that embraces the potential of innovation at every level. Through the provision of creative, data and technology solutions, the firm has become an international success story, opening up new and invaluable avenues of growth. In 2018, as the firm entered a new period oftransformation, the team took on the talented Agustín Correa as its CFO for their company in Colombia. The challenge was immense, to restructure the firm and transform it into one which was able to reach beyond its limits as a traditional creative agency into a highly effective growth company. This role within the company went beyond the traditional policies of a CFO, developing strategies to transform the culture of the business and assisted to create a new unified and sustainable vision for the business. In this, Mr. Correa has achieved some truly remarkable results. In short order, the firm has become one of the most recognized businesses in the industry when it comes to innovation and marketing technology. This is thanks to his determination to execute a strategy that saw fresh talent of the highest calibre joining the firm. This would not only allow the existing team to develop its skills, but push the bar ever higher for the company. The impact on clients was instant, with his approach generating astonishing growth for the firm. When Mr. Correa was hired, it was with a strong history of more than ten years of cross-functional and international expertise in local business and regional/worldwide market financial analysis, accounting, taxes, credit and collections in various industries. He had previously worked as CFO at J Walter Thompson, and had held various high ranking positions within adidas. These positions allowed him to understand not only what power a CFO could hold, but how that could be wielded to drive a company forward into the 21st Century: “The opportunity of being involved in senior roles within the globe and different industries were a key factor to allow me challenge business requirements and end to end processes that could affect marketing decisions and consumer needs in most industries” F When hired, it was not to carry on the standards of an old regime, but to inject an entirely new approach into a company that was looking to expand. Like a butterfly forming in the chrysalis, he was allowed incredible freedom in achieving that goal. The trust that the company’s leadership team put in him has paid itself back many times over, not only in the growth seen by clients, but in the growth of the company as a role model player in the industry. Part of the key to this growth was a determination to consider the social aspects of a business just as much as the financial. While finance is his field, Mr. Correa saw the importance of how marketing as an industry affects people. The power of a brand is such that it can contribute significantly to society. And through the clients who trust the team at Wunderman Thompson, we aim to possitively change the world. The vision that Mr. Correa and his team developed involved exploring the complex stakeholder, management and legal entities structures that the business had developed over the years, and redirecting them to support a singular vision. This vision would focus on investment and development of talent that could advise on the usage of the ultimate in martech capabilities with creativity at the foundation to thrive consumers experience with their clients’ brands. In this way, he would not only ensure that Wunderman Thompson remain at the forefront of the market, but be prepared for whatever changes would occur as technology evolves. The results have been incredible for the firm, generating a business that is not only simpler to operate, but has been able to act in a way that is significantly more diverse and agile. Since his appointment in 2018, Mr. Correa saw an improvement to the profit margin of 19+points percent, while cash generation speeded up dramatically as a result of building new and improved internal sox compliant processes. These new systems have enabled better client relationships, which has helped to improve net sales. Clearly, Mr. Correa’s mindset of combining both the needs of the financial and the needs of the social have benefitted the team massively. For many businesses, investment in new talent and technology does not lead to a quick return, but at Wunderman Thompson, a