Founders take full control of Banjo

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 27 November 2017

Venture capitalist investor Mark Carnegie has sold his stake in Sydney agency Banjo to founders Andrew Varasdi and Ben Lyttle.

Carnegie and advertising veteran John Singleton each took a 20% stake in Banjo when the business was set up in 2008.

As the agency prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2018, Varasdi says it’s the right time for the founding partners to take full control of the business and prepare it for the next stage of growth.

Varasdi and Lyttle now own 80% of the agency with Singleton remaining on board as a silent partner.

“Mark has been a fantastic partner and was a significant presence in our early years. His advice has been crucial to the success of the agency,” Varasdi says.

“We have been flying under the radar for a long time and Ben and I felt with so much happening it was the right time for us to take full control.”

Carnegie says having helped bring the agency to maturity, it was the right time to step away from the business and hand his share to Varasdi and Lyttle.

“When we started out we wanted an agency where the clients came first and we wanted to combine the arts of selling and storytelling. We have lived up to that philosophy at Banjo and now is the right time to step away and let Andrew and Ben take it to the next level,” Carnegie says.

The agency has been on a winning run over the past two years, with success in 14 straight pitches as well as cementing its place working with a variety of NSW State Government departments including Health, Transport and TAFE.

The agency’s clients include Nando’s, Crown and Real Pets Food.

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