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News Analysis 1 Jul 2020 - 3 min read

Konrad Spilva exits Simon Ryan's RyanCap venture

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

Former Dentsu CEO Simon Ryan's new venture, RyanCap, is in market but not with former business partner Konrad Spilva. The one-time Isobar boss had been tapped to lead the digital transformation unit of Ryan's planned new group, which Ryan says is similar to Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital.

RyanCap ready but Spilva not 'formally' involved

After months of speculation, ex-Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ CEO Simon Ryan is officially out in market with his fledgling new independent agency venture RyanCap but without the widely regarded former Dentsu-ownred Isobar boss Konrad Spilva.

Spilva is pulling back his association and original capacity to help form the business with Ryan.

Ryan told Mi3 that RyanCap was solely his venture and that Spilva was "weighing up" his next move.

"RyanCap is still my business and will continue to go ahead," Ryan says.

"He is a close friend of 15 years and will always remain one but he's going to assess and do what's best for him, which simply means weighing up his options."

Spilva confirmed with Mi3 that he was no longer formally connected with RyanCap and was currently pursuing several opportunities.  

The digital media executive says he has no immediate plans to have an official role in the business but will continue to support Ryan from an informal position.

"There was initial discussion and I had been considering involvement with Simon's venture, however, at this stage I am assisting as a friend and sounding board for the business," Spilva says.

"I have a few available options in front of me and will continue to focus on those, as well as current projects."

Spilva, a founder of Visual Jazz which was acquired by the then Harold Mitchell-controlled Mitchell Communications Group in 2007 for $12.7m, was tipped to lead and build the digital operations while Ryan would handle traditional media responsibilities and venture funding.

Ryan recently told The Australian that his model would share similarities with international the digital media, data, tech and content group, S4 Captial, headed up by ex-WPP Global CEO Martin Sorrell.

Spilva's history in customer experience (CX) strategy and tech and digital transformation had him poised to tap an important and growing part of the marketing agenda and deliver diversified credentials alongside RyanCap'smedia arm.

The former MD of Carat Melbourne, Joseph Pardillo, will join RyanCap and take on a leading role in the media offering.

Sorrell's S4 group has been investing heavily in digital transformation, fast and high-volume digital production, CX and programmatic platforms, as well as dealings with adtech and martech cloud players Adobe and Salesfoce.

Mi3  understands Ryan has been in early conversations with media owners around the launch of the business but little detail to date on clients or agency structure.

One media executive says there have been "preliminary chats" around when the business will launch and how it will differ from other agencies but "nothing concrete".

Earlier this year, Mi3  reported Ryan had approached his former holding group about acquiring some of Dentsu's Australian assets.

While no direct agencies were named, it's understood there was interest in areas of performance media and digital, which primarily operate under Isobar, once run by Spilva .

Dentsu declined to comment on whether there had been any conversations between the two parties at the time.

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Josh McDonnell

Senior Writer

Market Voice

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