Q&A: Banks Sadler CEO talks about the AMEX acquisition

Leigh Jagger, CEO of Banks Sadler talks to C&IT about the recent AMEX acquisition and what it means for the future of the business.

What are the next steps for Banks Sadler following the acquisition?
It’s a hugely exciting time for Banks Sadler. Being supported by one of the largest travel and meeting management companies in the world presents us with a wealth of opportunities for existing clients and new business opportunities. Our clients will continue to receive best-in-class service and we will continue to trade independently, but we are now so much stronger supported by American Express Meetings & Events, a division of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) - we have several shared clients already. The positive reaction across all our marketplaces has been very encouraging. Our next steps will be to get up-to-speed with the American Express GBT values, identifying synergies to be sure we are aligned moving forward.

What's the working relationship like with AMEX Meetings & Events?
We have a very good relationship! We have been in discussions for more than 18 months and have developed a great relationship with the American Express Meetings & Events teams. Now the acquisition is complete, we’re all working hard to have the wider teams fully integrate and to continue to build our relationship.

Have any new positions been created that you will need to hire for?
As it’s still very early days, we don’t have any immediate plans. All the teams are currently spending a lot of time together, developing our combined future strategy. It’s very possible that as a result new positions could be created.

What are the biggest changes to Banks?
We’re very much operating a business-as-usual strategy. There are, therefore, minimal changes for our teams and clients. We do, however, now have access to a far greater footprint with American Express Meetings & Events’ global operation, and can sell our services to a much wider audience.

Are there any plans for an office move?
We don’t have any plans to move. We will stay in Kentish Town for now.

Has the acquisition brought any new opportunities your way?
Absolutely. Our current clients have been hugely positive regarding the acquisition and we’ve seen several great new business opportunities coming our way. The teams are already working very closely together on joint-pitch responses and I’m sure this will continue to build momentum.


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