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Brand Insight

The Best of Both Worlds: MCA Expands its Latin American Footprint

MCA founder and CEO Pat Murphy brings Superávit owner JC Velasquez into the MCA family. They tell LBB why this is great news for production

The Best of Both Worlds: MCA Expands its Latin American Footprint

The best teams, it’s always said, add up to something greater than the sum of their parts. Even if that weren’t the case, there’s a lot to be said for the combined powers of the global production specialists Murphy Cobb Associates and the experience of consulting service Superávit. 

Based out of Colombia, Superávit (owned and run by JC Velasquez) has been an integral part of the Latin American consultancy scene for over a decade. It has allowed JC to build up an enviable level of knowledge and expertise in one of the world’s most creatively rich regions - expertise which can now be leveraged by MCA following the recent announcement of JC taking on the role as Head of MCA Latin America. JC will bring his team into the existing MCA team from Brasil, Mexico and Argentina, to expand coverage to all markets in the region.

To find out how the move came to be, and what it all means for the production market more widely, LBB spoke to Pat Murphy and JC Velasquez…

Q> Hello, Pat and JC! So first things first, is this a merger of businesses? And how did this move come about?

Pat Murphy> I suppose it’s a love affair, really. Through our Director of Operations, we'd heard a lot of great things about this guy called JC. And we thought, well, we’d better meet him - so we flew out to Miami. We had a fantastic chat there, and it felt like one of those meetings of minds. We have a very similar set of values and ethics, and our approach to the business and to our clients was exactly the same. And we just chose that night to carry on conversations about how we would work together. Now, 18 months later, we’re partners.

So in specific terms, JC will be a partner in MCA Latin America. We knew that we wanted to work together, and this is the best and most simple way for us to benefit from each other. He’ll be bringing his clients over to us at the same time, which scales us to fully cover the region. 

Q> And what do you think you can achieve together that you couldn't apart?

JC> Well on my side, I think this is the best of both worlds in the consultancy industry. MCA brings some very smart people, technology, innovation, and their success with great clients. On my side, I of course bring my own clients, and the personalised service that is so important for growth in Latin America. 

The bottom line is that this partnership is going to be great for our clients. That’s because we’re going to be able to reach more clients and offer better services to them, as well as a whole new toolset. It’s exciting!

Pat> One thing I’d add to that is that, at MCA, we already had a presence in Latin America and that great team will be working with and reporting into JC and his network. So we will be the very first consultancy in our space with that full Latin American footprint. That brings both scale and our skill set together under one roof.

Q> What excites you guys about working together?

Pat> In a sentence, it’s great to have someone our clients can trust to grow the business and is native to the region, this is crucial for a market like Latin America. We had business leaders in a couple of markets, and now with JC’s experience we cover the whole region. So not only is he a nice guy on a personal level, but he is someone who clients trust and respect. In our business, ultimately, that is what it is all about. 

I’m also excited about the future for MCA following this partnership. JC will be able to bring a lot of the new ways of working into the Latin American market and build a bigger level of intelligence and knowledge to add to our base.  We’ll be offering something so much more valuable than before, together. 

JC> I agree. And actually, this feels like the next step in my career. With my own company I know I had to invest a lot in technology and innovation. By joining MCA, I have that already in place. Clients here want technology and innovation, especially after the changes of the past year. The market has evolved quickly.

Q> Do you also feel that you can offer services from the local market back to your client base? There’s such a rich vein of history and talent in Latin America that you could connect to the global market. Is that on your radar at all?

Pat> Oh, definitely. We will bring some of the MCA added value, our innovative mindset and the global intelligence that we can bring to the market, like never before.  We also know we are going to gain some valuable knowledge to impart to our teams elsewhere across the globe!  We’ll be offering something so much more valuable than before.

Last week, interestingly, one of our consultants in Argentina was asking if we had any Brasilian directors in the UK. So finding new talent and bringing that together with the technology that's out there is going to help us massively. 

JC> And to add to that, I think we have other markets that are doing really well like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, with very good value. So that's something that we might want to bring to the table for clients elsewhere in the world as we open up. 

Pat> One of the other things that's been on our radar over the last few weeks is some of our clients want us to engage directly with their production houses. They want us to help them to select the right kind of production company, for example. We’re doing executive production work with our clients in Europe and Asia, so it looks like its set to be a global trend that we will bring to Latin America as well. 

Q> And is this good news more widely for brands and suppliers in the region? 

Pat> Yes, I think this is good news for the production industry as a whole. Because part of my mission is to help our partners, great creative suppliers, work directly with brands. That's where a lot of this is headed.

JC> Obviously, we’ve all learned an awful lot this past year because of the pandemic. There have been big changes locally, and now we can learn from a global group (MCA), and also draw on each other’s expertise to adapt as we go. It’s going to be fascinating for our local clients, and of course it will benefit them. There are so many cultures and ideas in the market, and we can all learn from each other.

Q> And finally, what does MCA look like in three years’ time?

Pat> You know, five years ago, I wouldn't have been able to tell you where we are today. We're in a different place now, particularly with the investment we're now making in technology. I do see ourselves as being a much more tech-led business, and that will continue to be the direction of travel. At MCA, we want to bring the data and the intelligence to deliver fantastic insights to our clients and not just nit-pick around the budget. We want to be able to offer clients something far beyond what they expect from a consultancy, and this partnership makes me all the more confident we will do that. 

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