Ketchum's Lorfink returns to Omnicom as CFO of DAS

Rob Lorfink, president and COO of Ketchum, has moved to parent company Omnicom Group as CFO for the Americas region of its Diversified Agency Services division.

NEW YORK: Rob Lorfink, president and COO of Ketchum, has moved to parent company Omnicom Group as CFO for the Americas region of its Diversified Agency Services division.

Lorfink, who previously worked at Omnicom from 1999 to 2003, started in the role last week. He is reporting to, and has succeeded, DAS president John Doolittle, who also previously served as CFO. Doolittle assumed the title of president last April when former DAS president and CEO Dale Adams was named chairman and CEO of the unit.

Omnicom's DAS division contains the holding company's communications firms, including FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Cone Communications, Marina Maher Communications, and Mercury Public Affairs.

As president and COO at Ketchum, Lorfink was responsible for global finances, as well as regional business lines. The agency has hired Bill Visone, formerly CFO of Omnicom's now-shuttered Arnell Group, to serve as global CFO.

"[Visone] is a great businessperson and great cultural fit,” said Lorfink. “We've been working closely on the transition.”

Ketchum senior partner and CEO Rob Flaherty will regain the title of president, while the COO role will remain vacant. Lorfink's former regional direct reports will be under Flaherty and other executive committee members.

Flaherty relinquished the title of president in September 2012 when Lorfink was named to the role.

“[Lorfink] is a rare talent in our industry, mixing both a financial discipline and accountability with strategic skills and vision,” Flaherty said in a statement. “Among other things, [he] helped with our global expansion over the last several years.”

He added that Lorfink will continue to be a key partner to Ketchum in his role at DAS.

Lorfink said Ketchum is three times the size it was when he started there nearly 11 years ago in terms of revenue, staff, geography, clients, and services, and he plans to use his experience at the firm “to help DAS continue to bring value to clients on a tremendous scale.”

The opportunity to take on the CFO role at DAS came to Lorfink at the end of last year, and he said it is a “natural migration” from Ketchum.

Lorfink added that he does not know how much his role at DAS will center on the pending merger of Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe.

“I can tell you right now it's fully focused on the Omnicom and DAS companies, 100%,” he explained.  

When Lorfink started at Ketchum in 2003, he served as CFO, and then became CFO and COO in 2008. Two years ago, he was named president and COO. Before that, he served as VP of finance and operations at DAS for four years.

He also spent nine years at Weber Shandwick.

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