New partners take over Cartier

The new leadership wants to ensure the agency will stay fully Quebec-owned and independent.

CARTIERWith a friendly acquisition by on-staff employees, Cartier is “embarking on its next phase” under the direction of four new partners.

Account director Audrée Couture, strategic planner Victor Dagenais-Benoit, channel strategy and business development director Luis Areas and creative director Sébastien Pelletier comprise the new leadership team at the Quebec agency. President and founder Benoit Cartier and vice-president Michel Lagacé are retaining their titles, and will become members of a consultative committee to ensure a smooth transition.

“Most agencies are owned by international groups, and they often lose their nimbleness and their agile approach when this happens,” according to Dagenais-Benoit, who says it was founder Benoit Cartier’s vision for his agency to stay Quebec-owned. He tells strategy that Cartier received a few acquisition offers in the past, but would not provide specifics.

Areas says the new team has been transitioning into their new roles for six to 12 months and says, in the short term, there won’t be much of a difference operationally. He adds that, under the new leadership, the agency wants to be known more for a diversified offering than solely as a creative shop.

Dagenais-Benoit says he will continue to oversee product innovations and strategy, while Audrée Couture is taking care of client management and Sébastien Pelletier is managing all the creative products. Areas is overseeing media and channels planning. “For the moment, we are more digital media focused,” Areas says, adding that the agency has developed a full stack of in-house programmatic dashboard solutions.

In their committee roles, Benoit Cartier will pass along his legacy and knowledge, Dagenais-Benoit says, developed over the course of helming the company he founded for more than two and a half decades. The core values of the agency, which the new partners want to retain going forward, are being Quebec-based, independent and putting trust in a younger generation. Lagacé, Cartier’s partner for nearly two decades, will continue to play an operational and finance role as the organization transitions.