Authorised Investment Fund investee company e-Mersion appoints advertising veteran Vincenzo Viola as CEO

Authorised Investment Fund investee e-Mersion advertising veteran Vincenzo Viola chief executive officer
Vincenzo Viola has 30 years of advertising and marketing experience with major agencies and leading brands in Melbourne, Sydney, New York and Hong Kong.

Authorised Investment Fund’s (ASX: AIY) investee company e-Mersion Media has appointed advertising veteran Vincenzo Viola to the position of chief executive officer and partner.

Mr Viola has 30 years of advertising and marketing experience with major agencies and leading brands in Melbourne, Sydney, New York and Hong Kong.

After graduating from Melbourne’s RMIT University, he worked for agencies on the east coast of Australia, before continuing his career in the United States.

Most recently, he spent 15 years as executive vice president and managing director of McCann Hong Kong where he managed the Cathay Pacific Central Team, created as a full-service, multi-disciplinary agency to manage all integrated marketing for Cathay Pacific Airways.

Mr Viola currently holds a number of board and advisory roles, consulting to companies including Asian Integrated Media (AIM), Pacific Brands, The Restaurant & Catering Industry, Express Travel Group and Collingwood Football Club’s CBD Group.

E-Mersion Media founding director John Iliopoulos welcomed the addition of Mr Viola to the team.

“After a number of years developing our proprietary technology and building the e-Mersion digital magazine publishing platform to where it is today, I am delighted to [appoint] Vincenzo to help commercialise the platform and partner with some of the world’s leading brands,” he said.

“With Vincenzo at the helm, we will provide a much richer experience for our stakeholders and readers of digital magazines globally.”

Digital platform

E-Mersion Media has developed a high-end platform designed to work seamlessly with traditional magazine owners and advertisers.

The platform is claimed to be a “ground-breaking magazine digitisation solution” providing full contextual content for magazine publishers and advertisers.

It allows them to access real-time insights to drive business and editorial decisions and comes complete with end-to-end usage, engagement tracking and user data analytics.

Within the platform, users are exposed to editorial content which is enhanced with video, sight and sound.

Advertisers are able to use these same features to enhance their advertisements and utilise existing cross-media assets not normally available within a traditional print magazine environment.

Asian connection

In January 2018, Authorised Investment Fund entered into an agreement with Box Digital Media Group to expand and roll out the e-Mersion Media business.

Under the terms of that deal, Authorised Investment Fund agreed to issue and allot 30 million of its fully paid ordinary shares to Box (which owns e-Mersion Media) in consideration for a parcel of shares in Box equal to 10% of its issued share capital.

In April, Authorised Investment Fund entered into a separate agreement to acquire a 25% interest in global media sales representation network AIM with the option to increase to 30% before 2021.

Founded in 2002, AIM is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.

Its client list includes leading luxury, travel, tourism, financial services and automotive brands, as well as government authorities.

On bedding down the $6.25 million acquisition, Authorised Investment Fund said it would enable AIM to expand its media offering for brands wishing to tap more highly-targeted and valuable audiences.

“To partner with one of Asia’s leading and long-established media sales networks to invest in new audience delivery platforms is very exciting,” the company said at the time.

“We are confident we have a materially-increased capacity to accelerate our growth in emerging disruptive digital technologies”.

At mid-afternoon, shares in Authorised Investment Fund were steady at $0.072.

Imelda Cotton has over 20 years experience as a journalist and communications professional. She has spent the bulk of her career in the resources sector, having also worked directly with oil and gas majors and as a journalist covering a vast array of ASX listed companies within the resources, energy, science and health sectors.