ISC Innovators - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Austen launched his first ad agency in 1971 in Hong Kong, following an earlier career as a Southeast Asian journalist, a speechwriter and aide to the late-Robert F. Kennedy and a New York-based oil & gas company executive for both Exxon and Mobil. In 1974 he formed PTM Communications for Pernas in Malaysia and the then TDC and Malaysia Airlines, which he subsequently sold to JWT Malaysia. In 1976, he started AMC, which he helped propel to become Southeast Asia's first agency to reach the hundred million ringgit (then US$40 million) annual billings mark.
As AMC's founder and CEO, he was instrumental in "spinning out" of the agency two other agencies - Edelman Public Relations in 1983/84 and Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysia in 1988/89 - and leading AMC to become Malaysia's No. 1 agency from 1987 to 1992.
In 1999, he transformed ISC agency into TBWA's Malaysian affiliate prior to selling off a majority stake to TBWA in 2001. Ten years later, he ended ISC’s relationship with the TBWA-Tequila group in Malaysia and re-organized ISC Group which now comprises ISC Innovators, its Honolulu-based Olomana Loomis-ISC and its media specialist company, Oranje-ISC.
He has served on the board of several organizations in Malaysia, Hong Kong and the US. He is a Dutch national, born in Jakarta, Indonesia, educated and trained in the US, the father of four adult children and a permanent resident of Malaysia.