BWM Dentsu’s Alex Carr joins Bastion Banjo as managing partner as Andrew Varasdi becomes executive chairman

After 12 years, Bastion Banjo co-founder and managing partner, Andrew Varasdi, will transition into the new role of executive chairman.

The move leaves way for former BWM Dentsu managing director, Alex Carr, to join the agency as its new managing partner. Carr will work alongside existing partner Ben Lyttle, co-founder of Banjo, to drive the future direction of the agency.

Carr joins Bastion Banjo after leaving BWM Dentsu in August 2019

Carr said he was looking forward to being part of the business and respected what Varasdi and Lyttle had done in the agency.

“I am so delighted to join the team at this fiercely independent agency. Vara, Ben and the team have shaped a very special business that quietly punches well above its weight. Their grown-up approach to brand strategy, branding and a variety of communication disciplines in order to drive the best outcomes for their clients was a massive draw card. They have never wavered from their original mission of creating long term brand stories that sell,” said Carr.

“Another huge selling point was working for a collective not a network. Bastion Collective is one of the best kept secrets in the agency world. I look forward to more people discovering a business with no competing disciplines, where the sole purpose is not shareholder value but to find ingenious solutions to clients’ problems. How bloody refreshing.”

Carr helped drive the creative reputation and BWM Dentsu in his time with the agency and spearheaded its growth, including the acquisition of new clients Qantas and American Express.

Varasdi said the addition of Carr to the team would further expand the Banjo business.

“As part of the agencies re-structure Alex’s appointment in a partnership role along with other significant investments into the digital space will ensure a strong continuity of leadership for this next phase of growth for the agency” said Varasdi.

“For over 30 years, I have had the privilege of working with some of the industry’s most talented people and to work on Australia’s most iconic brands. But starting and building Banjo has been one of my proudest achievements. As we look to the future, having Alex come on board to help Ben and I run the business is key to our ongoing success. I am looking forward to this next stage of my career – working with our clients and people in this new role will be hugely fun and rewarding.”

Lyttle said: “There is no better ad person than Andrew – he is the very best I have ever worked with. And we’ve been through it all – many thought starting an ad agency with no clients in the middle of the GFC was madness … I guess we knew what we were doing. We knew there would come a time where Andrew would be less hands on. Having him with me and our team in this role is going to be fantastic. And having the caliber of a leader in Alex come on board is perfect for the future we have planned.”

Jack Watts, global CEO of Bastion Collective said “Bastion Banjo joined Bastion Collective almost two years ago to the day. Since that time, we’ve grown considerably to form the largest independent communications agency in Australia. We are thrilled to have Alex join Ben, Andrew and the rest of the Banjo leadership team. The Bastion Banjo business is in incredible shape and it’s great to see another experienced campaigner in Alex sign up to our mission to create the great Australian agency.”


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