Bastion Collective has announced the appointment of Jack Watts as global CEO to lead the company across Australia, the United States and Asia. Bastion have also acquired two digital agencies to bolster their team in the US.
Jack has been CEO of Bastion Collective’s Australian business for the past four years after starting the sponsorship and experiential arm of Bastion Collective, Bastion EBA, in 2009.
Now entering its 11th year, Bastion Collective is the largest independent communications agency in Australia with over 200 staff across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
Bastion has a rapidly growing presence globally with 40 staff and three businesses in the United States and partnerships across China, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Bastion Collective has ambitions to create ‘Australia’s global agency’ to continue to drive world-class communications and innovation in the industry, with an ambition to foster Australian ingenuity and ensure we keep creating and taking our ideas to the world.
Jack describes the company’s journey as one that has centred around building a unique agency model that works for the modern world.
“Over the past 10 years, we have built an agency model, from scratch, that meets the needs of today’s clients – combining the service, care and expertise of small agencies with the scale and breadth of service offering of the multinationals.
Bastion Collective have acquired two agencies in the United States to add to their expanding presence. Digital Transformation and eCommerce Agency, Cyndica Labs has been acquired and will be merged into Bastion’s US Digital Agency, Bastion Rare. Social Media and Performance Agency, Huntington Pacific Media, has been acquired and will be merged into Bastion’s US PR and Social Agency, Bastion Elevate.
These two acquisitions bring with them major US clients including Discovery Channel, PWC and Hitachi. This adds to Bastion Collective’s growing US client base including KFC, Verizon and Google to name a few. Bastion Collective has 40 US based staff with offices in LA and New York.
“We have built this model in Australia and over the past few years have seen the opportunity to take this to the world. We have a strong, and growing, presence in the USA with over 40 staff as part of the Collective there. We also have a range of partnerships in place throughout 10 Asian markets.
“The opportunity is the same in each market, where there are six large multinational agencies at the top, thousands of smaller independents and not much in between. With our unique approach, we believe we can rapidly create Australia’s global agency.
“COVID has only accelerated this opportunity as the legacy multinational holding group model continues to be challenged. This is evident in the results of the major holding groups published in the past fortnight.
“Mergers and acquisitions are at the top of our agenda in every market that we operate in, as clients increasingly look for a truly integrated communications solution. We want to be the home for great agencies, great clients and great people who have been saying for a long time ‘there must be a better way”.
Jack’s brother and co-founder of Bastion Collective, Fergus Watts, will move from Executive Chairman to Non-Executive Chairman. Originally published on Mumbrella here.