will Banks
May 27, 2024, 2:35 a.m.

Driving Innovation in Finance: A Conversation with Will Banks

Welcome to All Around Worlds! Today, we have the privilege of introducing you to Will Banks, a distinguished entrepreneur and financial expert with a remarkable journey spanning the realms of fintech, investment banking, and academia. Hailing from Southwest London, Will's career trajectory has been nothing short of extraordinary, marked by notable achievements and a relentless pursuit of excellence. As the co-founder and Executive Director of Shillings Capital, a boutique finance firm, Will brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. From advising on M&A transactions to offering Structured Capital Solutions, from debt to equity, and M&A, catering to both startups and established businesses alike. Join us as we delve into Will's inspiring story, exploring his entrepreneurial ventures, industry insights, and commitment to fostering effective teamwork and unity. Get ready to be inspired by Will's passion for innovation and his unwavering dedication to making a meaningful impact in the world of finance.
Will is also a Professor of Business and Law, Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, a Chartered Manager, and a Bachelor of Science.

Personal Background and Career Highlights

What is your personal background and experience related to this article?

I am originally from Southwest London and studied at Surrey University. I have had a long career in fintech and as an entrepreneur and board executive with a background in retail and investment banking, markets and trading. I have held various positions in Europe and internationally, including working for the 'big 4' clearing banks, playing a key role in the divestment of TSB from Lloyds Banking Group and as an advisor to Her Majesty’s Debt Management Office during the GFC. 
I founded Infinity, a pioneering Australian fintech firm, which I subsequently sold to an investment fund and have launched several other businesses. Part-time I am Deputy Chairperson of the Banking and Business Council of the International Trade Council, Washington DC.

What are some notable career highlights?  

•    Qualifying as an accountant.
•    Head hunted by the Australian Federal Government and granted permanent residence in just 2.5 weeks, due to my international reputation.
•    Awarded a Professor of Business and Law.
•    Being recognise in Forbes.

Inspiration to Enter the Industry

What inspired you to start your business or become involved in this industry?

Ever since I was young, I had a passion for business, which was further fuelled by watching the movie Wall Street. I started my professional journey in the corporate treasury, gaining valuable insights into how companies operate, secure funding, generate income, and manage risks.
I was eager to delve deeper and thus moved into investment banking, markets and trading, taking senior roles in several banks.

Shillings Capital

Overview of Shillings Capital

Tell us about the business and its presence in the target market

Shillings Capital is a boutique finance and investment firm that was established in August 2021. The firm is spearheaded by Marcus Shaw and me, along with a team of seasoned associates who bring a wealth of experience in various sectors including international banking, property and asset finance, structured debt solutions, and private equity.

We deliver consistent returns for our investors. In addition to our investment services, we also offer mergers and acquisitions advice, guiding our clients through complex transactions with strategic insight and expertise. Our team has successfully managed several mid-market deals, further demonstrating our ability to deliver results for our clients.

How has the year been for your company?

In the first half of the year, the Australian market saw a gradual acceleration due to increased real household incomes, a growing housing market, and stronger business investment. We predict that growth and inflation will weaken as monetary policy becomes more restrictive, leading us to believe that the RBA will begin cutting interest rates towards the end of 2024, possibly to 3.85%. We anticipate real economic growth to range between 0.75% and 1.25% for the year. Australia has been a favourable investment destination, benefiting from high commodity export prices, less restrictive monetary policy compared to other developed markets, and supportive fiscal policies.

We have experienced a notable increase in demand for commercial secured lending, offering attractive yields for our investors. We are excited about the opportunities this surge presents and have opened new investment options for interested parties. We encourage readers to reach out to us if they are interested in investing with us.

Building Effective Teamwork and Unity

What measures do you think employees and organizations can take to build effective teamwork and unity?

Organisations must ensure that the team is actively engaged in both setting and achieving company objectives for them to be included on the journey. I believe that effective communication is also vital, creating a transparent and open environment that enables the team to express their thoughts or concerns. I have found that this creates collaboration and a positivity across the team.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge and reward the team’s efforts, which further motivates them and shows that they are valued.

Unique Perspective and Differentiation

What sets you apart from others in your industry, and what unique perspective do you bring to this article?

As an experienced financier my success is rooted in my ability to make well-informed decisions, effectively managing risks, and maximising returns for our investor. What sets me apart is my deep understanding of financial markets, instruments, and economic trends and understanding the businesses we invest in. This provides our investors with diversified, innovative, and lucrative opportunities. 

I work hard at communicating with investors and the team, which builds trust and delivers clear investment strategies, performance updates, and market insights. I am adaptable and agile, allowing us to adjust strategies in response to changing market conditions and emerging opportunities, whilst maintaining a focus on our investors long-term investment goals.

Additional Insights and Achievements

Is there anything else that you think the writer should know to create an effective and successful article?
At the age of 8, I launched my first business. While still in school, I set up an account at a local cash and carry store to buy sweets in bulk. I then sold these sweets to my classmates at prices lower than the tuck shop. Despite receiving praise from my teachers for my business skills and that they supported a free market, they told me that I could not compete with the school. To work around this, I only offered sweets that were not sold in the tuck shop, such as ice blocks. 

As video rentals were gaining popularity at the time, I started buying second-hand films from charity shops and renting them to my classmates and their friends. I was able to recoup the cost of the film after just two rentals.

Advice for Startups

Any tips for startups looking to get onto a similar pathway?

When starting a new business, taking risks is necessary, even if some ideas do not work out as expected. It's important to think creatively and aim for ambitious goals while staying focused. Feedback from others should always be considered, but not taken to heart. Being willing to pivot, when necessary, demonstrates agility and business acumen.

Treating others with respect on the way up is crucial, as you may cross paths with them on the way down. Recognise that there is always more to learn and staying informed about industry trends and changes is key. Networking, assisting others, and establishing a reputation for professionalism and reliability are essential for success.

As we draw to a close on our enlightening conversation with Will Banks, it's evident that his journey is a testament to the power of ambition, resilience, and continuous learning. From his beginnings in retail and investment banking to his entrepreneurial endeavours in the fintech space, Will has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. His insights into effective teamwork, industry trends, and the importance of fostering strong client relationships offer valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike.

If you're eager to stay connected with Will and tap into his wealth of knowledge and expertise, we invite you to connect with him on LinkedIn. By joining his network, you'll have the opportunity to stay updated on his latest insights, industry developments, and future ventures. Don't miss out on the chance to engage with a visionary leader who is reshaping the landscape of finance and inspiring others to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

As we bid farewell to this captivating interview, we extend our sincere gratitude to Will Banks for generously sharing his time, wisdom, and experiences with us. May his story serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for all those who dare to dream big and embark on their own entrepreneurial journey.

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