First published in AMS business magazine. Author: Lauren Comiteau
Home for Alistair Beattie (46), co- CEO of DDB & Tribal Amsterdam advertising agency, and his criminal investigator fiancée Mia Wellfare (35) is the peaceful, green and “grown-up” neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Zuid. Both native Londoners, Beattie was an almost full-time business traveller until five years ago, when he decided to put down roots in the city he calls “stunning and happy,” a metropolis where “humans are welcome” and where visual treats can be discovered “by just looking up.”
As one of the world’s most important advertising hubs, Amsterdam’s international character, global talent pool and English-as-a-second-language designation make for good business. “You can really build multinational teams here,” says Beattie, whose office employs more than 100 people from 14 nationalities.
A barrister, Wellfare will be putting her wig in storage for the time being to take up her post as director of compliance forensic intelligence at the Amsterdam branch of the global risk consultancy firm, Control Risks. She arrived in Amsterdam early April to join Beattie full-time and expects to be kept busy as more companies relocate to Amsterdam post-Brexit. “I took this role because there’s so much opportunity here,” she says.
Amsterdam-Zuid fits the couple’s lifestyle: it is close to the airport for the still-travelling Beattie, and a short bicycle commute to his Amstelveen office. While Beattie’s workplace, like most creative enterprises, shuns suits and ties, Wellfare’s office is the more formal “pencil skirts and heels” type of place. Still, she finds it a relaxed environment, where the 15 employees – from Senior Partner to receptionist – share daily lunches at noon in what she calls “egalitarian, family-style dining.”
And while a typical day at the office for Beattie may last longer than the average 9-5, he still praises the work-life balance of a culture that, he explains, recognises the value of work but also realises there is more to life. That attitude, he says, is also good for getting the most out of his creative employees. “All work and no play make Jack and Jill dull boys and girls.” Spoken like a true adman.