Welcome back to B&T’s Best Of The Best! For this week’s entry, we’re looking at the bosses guiding some of the biggest indie media shops in the country – not a holding co in sight.

There are ten names on this list, but there are plenty more who just missed out. We’ve based this list on the agency’s success, the quality of work that they produce, how stable they are, and how they’re set for growth in challenging times.

These lists are very subjective, and the gap between some of the placements is barely a hair’s breadth. Trust us, we took no joy in separating these leaders, but we had to.

10. NICK BEHR, FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KAIMERA
Behr first launched Kaimera in 2016, accumulating more than 25 years of experience building successful agencies that do crucial and effective work and get real results for clients. Behr got his start in the media industry in London in 1999, working as a planner for The Media Shop.

Moving to Australia in 2004, Behr moved up the ranks, starting out as a client services director at EssenceMediaCom and quickly moving into managing director roles. Since 2020, Behr has been a founding member of the Independent Media Agencies Australia (IMAA) board.

9. MORRIS BRYANT, PARTNER, SPARRO BY BRAINLABS
After over ten years with the company, it’s safe to say that very few know the ins and outs of Sparro by Brainlabs better than Bryant. Having first started the company alongside his brother Cameron Bryant back in 2013, he leads the business direction.

Sparro By Brainlabs is one of Australia’s largest independent digital media agencies. Its clients include Domino’s Pizza, Webjet, Temple & Webster, Catch, Destination NSW, Estee Lauder Companies, PetBarn and Bing Lee.

8. STEPHEN FISHER, NATIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HATCHED
Fisher is an experienced media professional with 20+ years working across the Australian, UK, European and Asian markets. He has been at Hatched for over seven years, having first started as a General Manager in 2016 and moving into a Managing Partner role in 2019 alongside Adrian Roeling. Fisher and Roeling became CEO and COO respectively in 2022.

Prior to this, Fisher worked at IPG Mediabrands for 13 years culminating in a number of leadership roles at Initiative.

In 2023, Fisher led Hatched to be named as one of B&T’s biggest winning agencies, winning accounts for Forty Winks, Who Gives A Crap and Reece, amongst others.

7. LYNDELLE O’KEEFE, CEO, MATCH & WOOD
O’Keefe founded Match & Wood in November 2017 after completing a six-year stint as a strategy director at Initiative. She first got her start in the media space in 2000, working as a business manager at EssenceMediaCom.

Match & Wood won big at the 2023 B&T awards, taking home the award for Best CTV Campaign alongside a high commendation for B&T Media Agency of the Year. Just last month, O’Keefe led Match & Wood to a $9 million InstantScripts media account win.

6. MATTHEW NUNN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NUNN MEDIA
Skilled in digital strategy, media buying, digital marketing, and digital media, Matthew Nunn has been the Managing Director of Nunn Media since its inception in 2002. Prior to this, Nunn held a number of media director and sales roles across Channel 9 and WIN Networks.

Earlier this year, he led Nunn media to a huge win, pikcing up the circa $90 million Spotlight media account from the incumbent PHD.

5. DANIEL CUTRONE, MANAGING PARTNER, AVENUE C
Cutrone founded Avenue C back in 2017 alongside his brother, Hugo. Largely self-funded, the pair did not take a salary for the first twelve months of the agency’s operation.

Equipped with over 15 years of experience in media investment and planning, Cutrone previously drove efficiencies for Match Media/Blue 449 as head of national investment, hiss speciality is masterminding complex negotiations that drive meaningful value to improve his client’s bottom line.

Earlier this year, Cutrone, alongside his brother, led the agency to a huge win, snaring the KitchenAid media account off Havas.

4. TOM FRAZER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HALF DOME
It was 2017 when Frazer first co-founded Half Dome alongside his brother Joe. Now, seven years later, with a number of job titles added to his resume, he proudly calls himself the Managing Director of the indie agency.

It’s been a big year for Half Dome all around, being named as one of the top ten in the AFR’s best places to work and recently being shortlisted for a Cairns Crocodile Award, with the winners set to be announced in Cairns next week!

3. JACQUIE ALLEY, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, THE MEDIA STORE
Alley is no stranger to the ins and outs of The Media Store, having founded the agency in 1997. A second-generation indie agency owner and the mother of four boys, she is passionate about people and purpose, with the hope to leave the industry a better place than when she found it.

Alley is not just a regular name inside the Media Store; she has frequently popped up in the B&T offices, having won the 2022 B&T Women in Media Social Change Maker & 2023 Executive Leader awards.

2. JIMMY HYETT, CEO & FOUNDER, THIS IS FLOW
Hyett has been the face of This Is Flow since founding the indie agency back in 2015. He previously made his name in the media industry as a group business director at EssenceMediaCom, winning a B&T 30 Under 30 award in 2014.

Hyett is a passionate force in the media who heads up an equally passionate team. In 2020, he was appointed as a director to the MFA board of directors. This year, he led This Is Flow to be named the AFR’s number-one place to work in the media and marketing category.

This is Flow also won a coveted People & Culture Award at the 2023 MFA Awards.

1. CLAIRE FENNER, CEO & PARTNER, ATOMIC 212º
Fenner first broke onto the scene at Atomic 212º in 2014, working as the general manager before moving up the ranks to become CEO in February of last year. Prior to this, Fenner did a stint at Carat, working as a business director. A dedicated, employee-focused leader, Fenner has made a name for herself while leading the agency to be considered one of the top media shops in the industry.

In 2023, Fenner led the agency to retain the $20 million BMW media account. She has had a cracking start to 2024 with a number of wins, including the Northern Territory Events Company media account.

As a mother and proud advocate for the advancement of female voices in the industry, Fenner was given a special shout-out in this year’s Women In Media Power List, long list.

In an interview with B&T earlier this year, Fenner said that her priority for the year was, as it always has been, “the people in our business and ensuring we’re supporting them to do their best work, enjoy what they do and continue to grow”.

And that’s why Fenner is B&T’s Best of the Best Indie Media Agency Bosses!

Article originally published on B&T.


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