Wavemaker | Global Commercial Lead, Hong Kong

Finance Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Position at Wavemaker

Wavemaker is an agency of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment company and are a part of WPP. In fact, we are responsible for one in every three ads you see globally. We're looking for a Global Commercial Lead to play the client finance partnership role with Wavemaker Client Team and Commercial Team, as well as the client's Procurement and Marketing team.

At GroupM APAC, our people are our strength, which is why fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion is important to us. 

This is a senior global role charged with providing overall financial and commercial leadership to Wavemaker & the Group’s Global Team Account.  The objective of the role is to establish working relationship with the Client’s Procurement and Marketing team and be able to support Wavemaker and the Group to achieve profitable growth of business across all disciplines.
The role will be based out of Wavemaker.

Reporting of the role: 
The Global Commercial Leader reports jointly to the Wavemaker Global Client Lead and Wavemaker Global CFO. The position is based in Hong Kong for proximity to the Client Team Leader & the Client. Other critical internal working relationships include those with the Client’s leaders, Global CFOs and the rest of their teams in the Group.

The critical relationship is to be a close and trusted business partner to the respective stakeholders.

What your day job looks like:

Specific Accountabilities

Commercial Management

  • Advise and support the Client Team Leader on all aspects of commercial management including contract negotiation, fee negotiation, pricing and commercial dispute resolution
  • Own the relationship with the client’s Procurement and Agency Management teams
  • Coordinate and manage all contract negotiations, RFIs, RFPs, roster selection processes, pricing reviews etc. with the client
  • Ensure contract compliance the client and the Group’s Operating Companies
  • Trouble-shoot commercial issues between the group companies and the client worldwide and take the lead in interactions with the client
  • Work with Legal to seek guidance and approval for global contract and align templates and agreements (eg NDA, HIA(anti-bribery), DPA( data protection agreement) and any other agreements from the client so all opcos can be guided to use the aligned templates
  • Support local offices as and when required with any local contract issues eg penalty clauses, unlimited liability 

Strategy and Planning

  • Support the Team Leader in developing the growth strategy for the account
  • Own the financial aspects of the client’s account growth plan and budget process
  • Work with the Team Leader to demonstrate continued improvement in the group value proposition for the client
Financial Management
  • Work with group stakeholders to manage central budgets (namely staff cost, T&E and legal) and track actual spend
  • Provide financial reporting and business analysis to the Team Leader as agreed and required
  • Work with Operating Companies and Global reporting team to ensure integrity of the client account financial reporting in Cartesis
  • Maintain focus on client profitability; identify underperforming units / disciplines and work across Wavemaker and other Opco to implement corrective action to restore profitability and improve profit margin.
  • Monitor monthly client account net working capital (especially aged debtors and accrued revenue) for Wavemaker units and other Operating Companies. This requires working with Group Operating Companies as well as client Procurement,
  • Review budget and quarterly reforecasting and advise Team Leader
  • Oversight of all financial processes between group companies and the client
  • Manage FX and tax implications of cross border invoicing seeking support from group treasury and tax departments as required.
Training and Best Practice
  • Ensure that client account teams and local offices understand and comply with client contracts including confidentiality and agreed fee methodologies
  • Ensure that all account teams understand and implement best practices in scoping, estimating, pricing and scope change management
  • Arrange financial, commercial and negotiation training for client account group members as required.


  • Provide thought leadership, analytical and commercial support for the development of new business models and compensation arrangements
  • Support the commercialisation of new service offerings including developing value-based pricing systems where possible
  • Be an active member of the Global Client Operations team, contributing ideas and experience outside the specific client account.

 Client facing

  • Negotiate with Procurement on behalf of Opcos regarding contract or remuneration 
  • Regular discussions around operational issues eg working capital management and client prompt approval
  • Enhance operational efficiency – aim to standardise approach with the client so this can be shared with Opcos

Scale of Job:

  • Supporting opcos across the Group, requires interaction with respective commercial and client teams - estimated 40% time allocation
  • Working with Wavemaker Client & Commercial team globally

What you’ll bring:

Experience and Qualifications:

Essential criteria:

  • Highly numerate graduate with either professional qualification (ACA / CIMA or equivalent) or MBA
  • At least 15 years business experience
  • Strong analytical, communications and negotiating skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including ability to work across different cultures
  • Previous senior level experience in a demanding financial / commercial role involving contract negotiation
  • Confidence and credibility to manage senior level client procurement and financial relationships

 Desirable criteria:

  • Agency experience in an international context
  • Previous client-facing experience in a professional service firm
  • Chinese speaker [Cantonese / Mandarin] and able to read Chinese

About Wavemaker
Wavemaker is a billion dollar-revenue next generation agency that sits at the intersection of media, content and technology.  We are obsessed with the customer's purchase journey and is what connects our mission directly to our client’s business challenges. We invented WM Momentum, the world's most comprehensive study into how people make purchase decisions and have conducted over 375,000 surveys in 70 markets and across more than 30 categories. We are a business that is powered by the creativity and curiosity of our 8,500 people in 90 countries, united by our PACED values. We are a part of GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management company.

For more information, go to www.wavemakerglobal.com

In 2018, Wavemaker launched a Client Solutions office in Hong Kong where key network clients will be serviced. We are a new offering which is a result of a merger between Maxus and MEC and we house exciting regional and global clients such as Darlie, Huawei, Pfizer, Triumph. 

About Hong Kong  

Hong Kong’s small yet highly dynamic and efficient media market means it gets to operate with agility. Its internet and digital penetration continues to grow year-on-year, and has the highest smartphone penetration in Asia Pacific at 87%, while tablet ownership clocks in at 57%. Hong Kong’s digital market boasts a healthy mix of local, regional and global players, providing new opportunities in the media space.

If you want a future in media and communications, and believe in Hong Kong’s belief of “work hard, play hard”, there is clearly no place more vibrant, challenging and exciting than Hong Kong, where opportunities for you to innovate and grow are unparalleled.