About Ian Elliot

Ian’s career has so far spanned 45 years, broadly divided into 4 segments.

In Summary


The first 30 years were spent in the advertising agency business, all with what was then Australia’s largest and pre-eminent agency, George Patterson, where he rose from Mail Boy to Chairman and Chief Executive. Client Responsibilities included Optus (created ‘Yes’ campaign), Sydney Olympics Communications Strategist, CUB, Nissan, Hyundai, Energizer. When he retired from the business at age 48, ‘Patts’ had billings in excess of $1Billion and 1100 staff

Board Directorships

Following his decision to retire from management roles, he was offered numerous board positions on ASX listed companies. Over the last 15 years he has been Chairman or non-exec director of 6 listed entities with tenures spanning 2 years to 13 years. He has also sat on 3 Advisory boards of private companies, 2 government boards and one national sporting body.

Not for Profits

Throughout his career Ian has leveraged his skills and relationships for community good. He has a strong social conscience and has sat on numerous charity boards and committees.


His book ‘Stop Bitching, Start Pitching’ was a best-seller for his publisher Murdoch Books. This led to numerous requests as key note speaker at hundreds of Australian and dozens of international conferences and workshops.


  • Graduate of the AIDC Company Director’s course MAIDC.
  • Graduate of Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Program

In Detail

ASX Listed

Current Boards

Mobile Embrace Ltd – Dec 2017 – Current
Mobile Embrace is ASX listed. It is a technology led Digital Performance Marketing company utilising proprietary technology, tools and data assets globally to seamlessly target and connect consumers to products they value, generating high quality customer acquisitions for businesses at scale, via online and mobile devices

NED and Rem. Chair
McMillan Shakespeare Ltd
– 3 years to current
Non-exec Director and Chair of Remco. MMS is the market leader in salary packaging and novated leasing.

Past boards

Promentum Ltd – Chairman – 3 years to 2006
Led the business as Non-Exec Chair (18 mths) then Exec Chair (18mths) from a loss-making entity trading at 35cents to become market leader in offset printing and healthy EBIT. Negotiated sale to Gresham Private Equity at $2.25/share

Artist Entertainment Group Ltd – Chairman 2 years
Oversaw IPO of this micro-cap with a strategy to roll up the cottage industry of talent management boutiques.

Allied Brands Ltd – Chairman 2 years
Chaired the IPO of the business that held the Baskin Robbins master franchise in Australia.

Hills Ltd – NED 13 years
Non- Exec Director on this iconic Australian brand which had grown to be an investment conglomerate spanning pipe and tube manufacturing, steel extrusions, galvanising, satellite technology, security, Fibre to the Home, healthcare and hardware.

Salmat Ltd – 11 years
Non- exec Director and Chair of Remco for this leader in customer acquisition. Salmat’s business included strands that serviced;

  • Letterbox distribution of 5 billion catalogues to homes, through its ‘walker network’
  • Business Process Outsourcing for major Australian banks, Utilities, Telcos,
  • Call Centres in Australian and Philippines and a significant digital business
  • focused on customer acquisitions and e-commerce site builds and maintenance


NRL Commission – 4 years
Founding Commissioner and member of 8 person board established to oversee the whole of game, from Junior competitions and development to the elite competition (Telstra Premiership). Chaired the Media Rights Negotiations subcommittee that oversaw successful outcome of $1.2 Billion from Nine and Foxsports. Commission’s representative on the NRL/Telstra Digital Joint Venture and member of the NRL Major Events subcommittee (Finals Series and State of Origin). Retired by rotation in 2016.

Private Boards/Advisory Boards

Cantarella Bros/Vittoria Coffee – 3 years
Market leaders in ground coffee (Vittoria, Aurora), mineral water (Santa Vittoria), cheese (Jarlsberg). Privately owned.

Bavarian Hospitality Group – 6 years
Assisted the founder to leverage his original single outlet of the Lowenbrau Keller into a string of Bavarian Bier Cafes across the eastern seaboard, a beer importation business and hotel (Argyle at The Rocks). The original business was valued at $5million and the business was eventually purchased by private equity for a reported $180million.

Modelco – 6 years
Assisted the founder to develop a global cosmetics business, beginning with a single product and growing to a full suite of cosmetics and skin care products sold in the world’s most prestigious retail outlets.

Government Appointments

NSW Centenary of Federation – 3 years until 2001
Accepted invitation of Premier Bob Carr in 1998 to join the board and Chair the Communications Subcommittee of the entity established to oversee all the activities designed to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Federation of our nation.

National Australia Day Council – 10 years until 2015
In 2005 accepted Prime Minister John Howard’s invitation to join the board that oversees the national celebrations of Australia Day each year and chooses The Australian of The Year. Normally 3 year terms, Ian’s appointment was reconfirmed by subsequent Prime Ministers, Rudd/Gillard/Rudd.

Not for Profits

Dry July Foundation – Chairman 2015-current
This charity runs a peer to peer digital fund raising program that sees Australians abstain from alcohol during July and sponsored by friends and family. It annually raises circa $4million which is distributed to beneficiary organisations to ease the journey of adult Australian’s living with cancer.

Starlight Foundation – NSW. Director 3 years
Starlight grants wishes to critically, chronically and terminally ill children

St Vincents Heart& Lung Transplant Unit Fundraising Committee – Chairman 3 years.
One of the world’s most respected leaders in transplantation still needs fundraising to progress both research and access to world’s best equipment.


His book, co-authored with Martin Kellard, “Stop Bitching, Start Pitching” became a best-seller for his publisher Murdoch Books. It is recognised as the definitive guide to pitching for major contracts and condenses all of the IP he acquired over 30 years of pitching for big advertising accounts. He was the industry’s most prolific new business winner, with a 78% success rate and $250 million in client wins during his final 4 years as CEO.

Corporate Speaker

The success of his book led to invitations to deliver keynote addresses and workshops domestically and internationally. He is one of Australia’s most in-demand paid public speakers and has addressed audiences in Rome, Dubai, New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manilla and Bangkok.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *