Ali Wells, another Cognito alum, joins Vested as creative chief

Wells is the fourth former Cognito staffer to join Vested this year.

Ali Wells
Ali Wells

NEW YORK: Vested has poached Cognito creative director Ali Wells to become its chief creative officer. She is the fourth Cognito alum to join the firm this year.

Wells joined Vested in mid-November, reporting to Binna Kim, the firm’s president. Kim, Cognito’s former MD for New York and the US market, opened Vested with ex-Cognito president Dan Simon earlier this year.

As chief creative officer, Wells is overseeing all creative output at Vested. She is managing creative contractors who work on areas such as video, animation, and Web design and is advising clients.

Based in New York, Vested’s goal is to help both traditional and new financial firms tackle their sales and marketing objectives through paid, owned, earned, and shared media campaigns. Although Vested is a financially focused firm, Wells explained that her role was created because Kim and Simon want to emphasize creativity. 

"Creativity is inherent to a lot that [Vested does], even as far as media relations goes and being creative to bring someone’s profile or brand to attention," Wells said. "Just because we work in financial services doesn’t mean there isn’t a massive opportunity to be creative."

Wells added that she is seeing the trend of marketers at large financial firms realizing their jobs are moving from a focus on white papers and webinars to content that is easier to ingest, such as videos and infographics.

"The financial industry is still intellectual, but at the same time, you need to have consumable, bite-size pieces of communications," she said.

Wells left her role as Cognito’s creative director in early November. While there, she managed a team that delivered brand, digital, marketing, and design programs for a client portfolio that included Oracle Financial Services, Intel, CitiFX, and American Express.

A representative from Cognito was not immediately available for comment.

Shortly after launching, Vested tapped former Cognito director Ishviene Arora as COO.

Since its debut, Vested has signed clients including Bloomberg, Broadridge, Citadel, and Tabb Group. The firm has also won accounts with financial publishing company Institutional Investor.

"The work we are doing for Broadridge, Citadel, Tabb Group, and the majority of the work we do for Bloomberg was not previously done by any agency," Kim told PRWeek via email.

She added that although Broadridge, Citadel, and Bloomberg had previous relationships with Cognito, Vested is doing different work for them.

"We are embracing an integrated communications model, so our work for these clients spans social media, content amplification, video production, and more, with the exception of Institutional Investor," she said.

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