Simon Ryan’s Ryancap acquires Melbourne digital agency, reuniting collection of old DAN colleagues

Former Dentsu Aegis Network boss Simon Ryan’s new holding group, Ryancap, has acquired the small Melbourne-based digital agency, JBZ Digital.

Joseph Pardillo – the former Carat executive who worked with Ryan at DAN and is now leading Ryancap’s first agency, Ryvalmedia – confirmed the JBZ Digital brand will be retired and the agency absorbed into Ryvalmedia.

Ryan and Pardillo

JBZ Digital was founded in 2018 and has worked with clients including Bob Jane T-Mart and Direct Factory Outlet. It offers services across social media, SEM, SEO, programmatic, strategy and planning, analytics, and audience insights.

‘JBZ’ stands for ‘Job Bravo Zulu’, or ‘job well done’.

“Bravo Zulu is a maritime term that means ‘Well Done’,” reads the agency’s website. “At JBZ Digital, we are a Digital Media Agency with expertise in strategy, planning, buying and analysis. We are a passionate team who care about honesty and transparency.”

The agency’s chief executive and co-founder, Marcus Betschel, was national head of strategy and products at Dentsu agency Columbus from 2016 to 2018, and before that, head of social media at Dentsu Mitchell. Co-founder and director Paul Grainger also worked across both Dentsu Mitchell and Columbus, while the third co-founder, Jonathan Henshaw, spent time at Columbus and Dentsu X.

JBZ director Nick Allen spent two years in DAN’s social media team, and SEO manager James Forrester worked for two years in SEO roles at Columbus.

While much of the JBZ Digital team were at Dentsu, both Pardillo and Ryan were also working at the holding company.

Pardillo departed as managing director of Carat in February after eight years with the DAN agency. And Ryan resigned as CEO of DAN in late 2018 after almost three years in the role and almost 10 at the group. He was previously Carat’s chief executive for six years, where he worked with Pardillo.

Ryan moved from DAN to Carsales, but stepped back as managing director of commercial in December after just a year in the role. Ryan’s stint at Carsales is not mentioned on his LinkedIn profile, which says Ryancap will expand “across the eastern seaboard states with five businesses in the first two years of operation”.

He also says Ryancap has “one structure, one P&L, where specialists work together with agility ensuring that clients have the best people working for them”.


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