Ogilvy UK CEO, Michael Frohlich, features in Metro's 'My Money' talking finances and his career.


Michael became CEO at global advertising and marketing company Ogilvy UK in February. He joined Ogilvy in 2012 as CEO for Ogilvy PR EMEA and was integral to winning business from British Airways and numerous awards, including EMEA Sabre Campaign of the Year and EMEA Consultancy of the Year. Michael contributed to The PR Handbook — a text used in multiple academic institutions around the world.

You became CEO of Ogilvy this year. Was it a good career move financially?

I saw it as a great career move for many reasons.

Is pay more important than job satisfaction?

Pay is part of job satisfaction.

What has been your most financially challenging time?

When our first child was born. Nothing could have prepared us for the financial commitments you have to make throughout the years.

What’s the biggest financial risk you’ve ever taken?

Purchasing the family house we’re in. We’ve been there for 15 years and it has become a place of security -but at the time it was somewhat of a gamble and a stretch of finances.

What have been your best investments?

The current house we’re in. The gamble in the beginning is paying off.

What was your first job and what was the pay cheque?

It was a marketing role for a charity at £12K a year.

What mistakes have you made financially?

Selling our first house to make way for the second, if only we could have foreseen the rise in London house prices and rented it out instead.

Does money make us happy?

No, money doesn’t, but money certainly gives you more choices to access happiness.

What attracted you to marketing?

When I was at university my father wanted me to be a barrister, which I naturally railed against. In my naïve arrogance, I applied for only one graduate trainee course, which was at Ogilvy. Not only did I not get the job, but I also didn’t get a response to my application. Looking back, it ignited a huge sense of drive and led me to the path I am on today.

Why do we need advertising?

Marketing is the lifeblood of an economy because of its ability to drive sales and engagement.

What’s your biggest financial regret?

I had a job in my early career where I was working for the London Docklands Development Corporation, which was located on the Isle of Dogs. The country was in recession at the time and as a direct result of that the properties in the area were in negative equity. I had the opportunity to buy property in bulk for next to nothing — 20 years on from that and those properties will now be worth seven figures.

When do you think it is right financially to retire?

I don’t think there is a blanket age any more, everyone will have a different number in mind and a different requirement of what they need to feel secure enough not to work. Not just financially but also when looking through a work-life balance lens. Personally, I foresee that I will continue to work for many years, if I am as fulfilled as I am today.

Are you a saver or spender?


Are you savvy with personal finances?

No. Totally irresponsible.

What’s your latest impulse buy?

My impulse spending comes on our quarterly visits to Bicester Outlet Village.

Cash or card?


Borrow or lend?

Lend. Or in the case of my children, give.

Most important words in business?

The story is in the numbers.

What would you love to own?

A holiday home.

This was originally published in Metro here.