Former affilinet UK head, Helen Southgate, has been named Acceleration Partners’ new UK managing director as it launches in the region.

Speculation around her next position has been mounting since she stepped away from her role at the affiliate network in May to “pursue new ventures”, leaving the post without an immediate successor – a role that’s now been filled by former COO Peter Rowe.

Southgate joins the Boston-headquartered agency to oversee new operations in the UK and Europe, as her new employer joins a number of other American outfits looking to capitalise on UK performance marketing growth, topping £1.5 billion in spend last year.

Robert Glazer, founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners, and a pioneer of the affiliate marketing industry in the United States commented that he was “beyond thrilled” with the hire and “could not imagine” a more suitable person for the job.

“I have gotten to know Helen over several years and her reputation as a thought leader and principled industry advocate precedes her. She and I share a very similar vision for the future of the performance industry and the type of company culture that we want to build,” said Glazer. 

“She brings a wealth of experience in the affiliate space and will be instrumental in executing Acceleration Partners’ vision of driving the global digital marketing industry toward a performance-based model.”

“UK, Europe and beyond”

According to Southgate, the affiliate model championed by her new employer is one she’s supported her entire career.

“While it’s always been an industry based on relationships, those relationships haven’t always been performance-based,” she commented.

“That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about joining Acceleration Partners. Their Performance Partnerships approach to affiliate marketing not only sets them apart in the industry, it’s what separates a good affiliate programme from an exceptional one.”

Tasked with overseeing the agency’s growing presence in the UK and Europe, Glazer hopes the newly-appointed MD will help the company continue its mission “navigating” global brands in the affiliate industry. 

“We’ve been leading that effort here in the US and now, with Helen steering the ship in the UK, we’ll be able to provide that same commitment and support to clients in the UK, Europe and beyond,” he said.

Southgate has previously worked in a variety of performance marketing roles with companies including BSkyB, DGM and Silvertap. She also chairs the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Performance Marketing Council (PMC), and will look back on her affiliate career to date to deliver “Lessons from 15 Years in Affiliate Marketing” at PerformanceIN Live this October.