Ashfield Healthcare Communications has hired Ben Beckley as its first global commercial director.
He joined the firm on Monday, reporting to Doug Burcin, president. Beckley is responsible for global commercial strategy, business development, and working with other division heads to develop the firm’s commercial unit. He is also a member of Ashfield’s executive team and board.
The regulatory environment, particularly in the U.S., has made commercial strategy complicated, but Beckley said agencies can make developing strategy simpler.
“It can be hard to stay on top of it, but that’s where an agency partner can help [clients],” he said. “Agencies have the opportunity to open their eyes and showcase where we think the industry is going and things we think [clients] should be taking advantage of. They’re looking for innovation.”
Ashfield’s moves to differentiate its business also drew Beckley to the firm. The network has acquired several agencies in the past two years, from rare disease specialist Cambridge BioMarketing to creative marketing agency CreateNYC. Burcin, who joined Ashfield in February, is overhauling the agency with acquisitions and promised “you will not recognize us in 2019.”
“Clearly Ashfield is a growing brand within the agency world, and I’ve come to learn is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry,” Beckley said “They’re attracting differentiated companies, but very complementary to different pieces of the business.”
Beckley was previously MD and business lead for rare disease at Havas Health & You. Before that, he spent six years at Precision Effect leading accounts. Beckley was also director of marketing communications at medical device manufacturer ConforMIS and worked at agency LehmanMillet.
Ashfield, owned by Dublin-based UDG Healthcare, more than doubled its revenue in 2017 to $83.7 million, a 169% increase over the previous year.