‘Experts’ Arrive at Rapp Collins

Capping a year of 30 percent revenue growth, Rapp Collins Worldwide has added two new senior vice presidents and recruited Tom Benelli from Impiric to steer its media operation.

The svps are Ben Nneji, former vp, mar-keting, global consumer finance at GE Capital in Stamford, Conn., and Greg Banks, a former vp at Sprint in Dallas, where he focused on small- to medium-sized businesses.

At Rapp Collins in New York, Nneji becomes svp, customer management services—a North American post—while Banks assumes the role of svp, marketing director in Dallas. Both jobs are new and reflect the direct marketing shop’s desire to add depth to upper management. All three newcomers arrived within the past few weeks and report to Malcolm Speed, chairman and CEO for North America.

“Nothing in the business arena is getting easier, and clients are unbelievably challenged on all fronts,” Speed said. “In order to make the kind of contributions that our clients are demanding … we need to be very comfortable in the business of business.” Hence, the addition of Benelli, Nneji and Banks, whom Speed described as “experts in business.”

Benelli, 38, former svp, director of media services at Impiric, succeeds Joe Shain as president of SCP/Rapp Collins Media in New York. (Shain is leaving at year’s end to pursue other opportunities).

The media operation has doubled in the past four years to roughly 60 staffers in the U.S., Speed said. It operates in both the traditional and interactive space, planning and buying media for everything from direct TV spots to targeted e-mails.

Nneji, 49, initially will focus on internal operations, helping to expedite services to clients. He spent four years at GE Capital, where he used a process called Six Sigma to streamline operations in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and South America. While Nneji has not worked at an agency before, he has held marketing posts at AT&T Bell Laboratories and J.C. Penney Co.

Before Sprint, Banks, 40, held account management jobs at the former Tatham Euro RSCG in Chicago, Dailey & Associates in Los Angeles and Temerlin McClain in Dallas. His client experience includes Procter & Gamble and NationsBank. At Rapp Collins, Banks will be assigned a select group of unidentified accounts. His mission: to sell additional services to Dallas clients, which include SBC Communications and Dell.

Total capitalized billings at Rapp Collins in North America exceed $1.5 billion, according to the shop.