Founded by two women with an eye for detail.
Standard Media Index was established in Australia in 2009 by two female powerhouses—a leading financial journalist and a serial entrepreneur—who noticed that media buying companies were having a hard time structuring and aggregating data. Hazy estimates were resulting in wide margins of error and inaccurate reporting.
Leveraging contacts within the industry, Sue Fennessy and Jane Ractliffe (nee Schulze) were able to forge unprecedented relationships with Australia’s largest agency holding companies. By obtaining raw advertising invoice data from those companies, then sorting that data so it made sense, SMI was able to offer the first and only truly accurate view into the Australian advertising market.
In light of the model’s immense success in Australia, the global offices of these holding groups quickly moved to contract SMI to undertake this same service for them internationally. In 2011, SMI moved their headquarters to New York to build this global offering from the epicenter of the advertising, media and finance world.
Today, SMI has 90% of actual ad spend data in Australia, 99% in New Zealand, 70% in the United States and Great Britain. Trust and accuracy are the tenets that our business model is built on, and it’s been the key to our success with agency partners, media owners, brands and the finance industry.
Big data delivery, small-company service experience.
Our Aussie roots shine throughout our corporate culture. We maintain the same can-do attitude SMI was founded with, arriving to work every day willing to break the mold to help our partners and clients navigate the shifting sands of the advertising markets—wherever they are.
We currently have four international offices; one in Australia, Madrid, London and New York City. Each office is packed with a diverse team of employees, each with a passion for building relationships with our clients and partners. Of course, we all like numbers too.
Interested in working with us?
We are not hiring for a specific position, but we’re always looking for good talent. If you think you have what it takes, contact us.
Who we are.
- James Fennessy
James Fennessy – CEO- New York, US
Prior to taking on the CEO role in Jan. 2016, James was Chief Commercial Office for SMI where he was responsible for all global revenue and agency partnerships. Before SMI, he was CEO in Asia Pacific for one of the world’s leading sales effectiveness consulting groups. Originally from Melbourne, Australia James began his media career with News Corporation where he held senior sales roles in Sydney and in Hong Kong. He has spent 15 of the last 20 years living in Asia and the United States.
- Alberto Leyes
- VP of Business Development
Alberto Leyes – VP of Business Development- Madrid, EN
Alberto has an insatiable passion for working in media. He started his career working as a news editor for Telecinco after graduating in Journalism and then later with an MBA from Fordham Graduate School of Business in New York. At SMI, Alberto spearhead the deployment of AccuTV, and has played an important role in the rollout of data across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece. His goal is to combine his communications background with his affinity for business analytics to tell stories with data.
- Aubrey Hodges
- VP of Sales
Aubrey Hodges – VP of Sales- New York, US
Aubrey has spent the last ten year spearheading sales for firms focused on datasets, fundamental research and idea generation for hedge funds, asset managers and long-only investors. Prior to joining SMI, Aubrey was a Director for a leading advisory and emerging markets data and research firm located in New York. Aubrey’s media fluency stems from working with TMT focused investors in New York, London and Shanghai as well as time spent working at Thomson Reuters where he was responsible for developing commercial opportunities for the firm. He started his career on the buy-side in the asset management group at U.S. Trust.
- Michael Wiggins
- VP of Technology
Michael Wiggins – VP of Technology- New York, US
Michael has spent the last twenty years building software solutions across industries. He has designed and built network simulation models for the defense industry, tracked international inter-bank loans, and designed international web based data collection systems. Michael’s introduction to the media industry was as technology lead for Asia-Pacific’s largest independent media consultancy. Sophisticated benchmarking software has helped advertisers maximize their ROI from their media spend.
- Priya Singh
- VP of Data Strategy & Analytics
Priya Singh – VP of Data Strategy & Analytics- New York, US
Priya brings years of media agency experience to SMI. Her media background has grown from the development and use of strategic communication plans for clients such as Exxon Mobil, Office Depot, Merck & Co, Volvo, and Oppenheimer Funds. Her knowledge of the agency planning and buying processes has made her a valuable resource in product development, building relationships with agency partners, and in understanding client businesses.
- Nicole Florit
- VP of Finance & Admin
Nicole Florit – VP of Finance & Admin- New York, US
Nicole helps keep SMI running, leading the company’s finance department and all people initiatives. She has a keen eye for problem solving, and a passion for building companies through employee engagement. Nicole brings 20 years of experience helping companies grow, to her role at SMI. Before joining the team, she spent time at HealthiNation, eFront, New York Magazine, New Jersey Devils, Madison Square Garden and Arthur Andersen.
- Jane Ractliffe (nee Schulze)
- Managing Director Aus/NZ
Jane Ractliffe (nee Schulze) – Managing Director Aus/NZ- Sydney, AUS
Jane cofounded SMI in 2009 and runs the Australian and New Zealand operations while managing local agency relationships. Jane’s background is in media as a business journalist and media editor for 15 years at Australia’s national newspaper, The Australian. The media industry remains Jane’s passion, but she’s more interested today in how media is assigned in SMI’s data set. She works with SMI’s Agency partners to continually improve data and data reporting in SMI’s Media and Category reports.