Known most recently for his appearances on Shark Tank Australia, businessman Andrew Banks boasts a bevvy of entrepreneurial titles to his name. An entrepreneur, investor, film producer and talent and learning expert, Andrew is the co-founder of recruitment company Morgan & Banks, and founder of HR business process outsourcing provider Talent2 International. Born in London, Andrew started his university studies in the UK in Applied Biology before getting a part-time job selling paintings door-to-door. It was in this job where his potential was first realised, as he quickly progressed to a supervisor role and ran an area office of ten teams. In 1972, his studies were put on hold as he migrated to Australia as part of the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme.
In Sydney, Andrew pursued a career in acting at the Old Tote Theatre Company (now NIDA). While he had some small acting roles in television series Number 96 and the Old Tote Theatre Company’s Macbeth, he needed to support his then $60 a week wage with something else. He and a friend decided to open a restaurant in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, borrowing $5000 across two credit cards for his share. Luckily, this first entrepreneurial gamble paid off and he exited the business a mere eighteen monthly later with a “tidy sum”. According to Network Ten, Andrew “maintains those 19-hour days were the hardest he has ever worked”.
After getting married, Andrew sought more stable employment and began working in HR with French oil company Elf Aquitaine. He returned to London for some time, working for Brown and Root, which saw him move to Norway and America as Regional HR Director for the Europe and Africa Marine Division. He then returned to Australia in 1980 to work as a recruiter for Slade Consulting in Sydney, establishing their Brisbane office and managing both Sydney and Brisbane until the end of 1984.
It was in 1985 when the real fun began – Andrew and business partner Geoff Morgan founded Morgan & Banks. In just ten years, the organisation grew to command 17% market share in Australia and Asia, and went public with sales over $850 million. In 1999, it merged with US listed NASDAQ company ‘TMP’, which saw Andrew spend three years in New York as Global Director. During that time, Andrew was responsible for over 50 acquisitions and 4,500 staff operating in 32 countries.
Following his return to Sydney, Banks launched his first solo adventure in 2003 – Talent2 International. The focus was on HR outsourcing and executive search and selection, . By 2012, Talent2 operated in 20 countries around the world, when it became privatised via a joint venture between Morgan & Banks Investments and US company Allegis Group Inc. In 2014, 100% acquisition of Talent2 was finalised by the Allegis Group, and Andrew now serves as an Advisor to the Search practice of the organsation.
With a wealth of experience and success up his sleeve, Andrew Banks is estimated to be worth close to $300 million. As a keen investor, he has invested in a variety of companies in Australia in the areas of property development, residential hotels, and operating businesses such as Krispy Kreme Australia. He also began his appearance on Shark Tank Australia as a ‘Shark’ in 2015, investing in a number of startups. Aside from his entrepreneurial spirit, Andrew maintains his interest in film and theatre, and is a founding partner in production company Lila 9th Productions. Together with original business partner Geoff Morgan, he has also authored four books on recruitment.
What do you think?
There is no doubt that Andrew Banks’ story is an inspiring and motivating business journey. Like many, he started from the bottom up, and with his passion he was able to succeed on an enormous scale. What interests you most about his story? I’d love to hear your thoughts – comment them below to join the conversation.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Wikipedia; Celebrity Speakers; The Sydney Morning Herald; Network 10,
Image Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald