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Founder Feature | Andrew Sparke

Andrew grew up in the northern beaches of Sydney in a family of five. Andrew is the oldest of three boys, one being his identical twin.

Andrew grew up in an entrepreneurial household where Mum and Dad both ran successful businesses. Dinner always included discussions about the issues faced at work or new opportunities that had been identified.

From a young age Andrew developed a passion for the financial markets. Andrew and his two brothers saved money by completing a number of local jobs including a paper runs, picking up golf balls at the driving range or filling chlorine bottles at the nearby pool shop. These funds were used to buy and sell stock.

Andrew has an uncle that was a director of several ASX listed mining companies. This helped develop an interest in buying and selling resource stocks.

After finishing school in 2000, Andrew attended a university in western Sydney where he lived on campus. Andrew initially studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing.

After finishing his undergraduate studies in 2003, Andrew started work in the family business. During this period Andrew was responsible for about thirty trade staff. The business focused on installing water and energy saving systems in government buildings across Sydney. After a successful period with the Company, Andrew decided it was time for a career change.

As a graduate, Andrew was ambitious. One of his many goals was to become a company Director of an ASX listed company by the time he was 30. So, at the ripe old age of 22, he had to get moving…

After completing some research, Andrew realised that mining companies accounted for approximately 60% of the companies listed on the ASX at that time. He realised that if he wanted to gather experience in the capital markets he had to start there. So in 2007, Andrew chose to pack up and move to Perth, the epicentre of the Australian mining industry.

Over the preceding two year, the ASX, buoyed by an expanding China and a mining super cycle, completed the most initial public offerings (IPO’s) in its history.

Whilst in Perth Andrew began work with a boutique Australian broking firm focused on the resources sector. The broker had nine ASX listed companies in its stable, many of which were listed while he worked with the company.

This experience was invaluable! Andrew learnt how to structure a deal, raise capital and the process of listing a company on the ASX. But most importantly he learnt about the technical side of the resources business…

Just as things were starting to heat up, in October 2008, along came the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Over the next 16 months, the market lost more than 50% of its value. Perth turned into a ghost town! This was a good reminder of the cyclical nature of the resources business.

Andrew returned to Sydney and began working for Helmsec Global Capital. He worked in their Equity Capital Markets team on a number of successful IPO’s, placements and corporate transactions.

Andrew founded Olive Capital in 2013 and began assisting companies to raise capital, seek an ASX listing and grow their businesses.

One of the first companies Olive Capital was mandated with was Cascade Resources Ltd. Andrew assisted the existing board to re-structure the business, raise sufficient seed capital and completed a Reverse Takeover transaction (RTO) with a listed company called Torian Resources Limited (ASX:TNR) in 2014.

Torian was a gold explorer focused on the Eastern Goldfields Region of Western Australia. Against a backdrop of a low gold price and a high Australian dollar and an exploration sector that had been decimated, Andrew raised over $14 million for Torian and funded over 100,000m of exploration drilling. An achievement that to this day seems quite remarkable.

Andrew recounts that “there was no one raising capital for junior gold exploration at the time and certainly no juniors drilling holes”. This experience allowed Andrew to realise that with skill and tenacity it is possible to raise capital against the cycle.

Andrew would go on to become the Executive Chairman of Torian and complete his goal of being a listed company director before he was 30.

In the same year, Andrew was approached by a large UK investment fund that was looking to deploy $300 million into ASX listed small and mid-cap companies. Andrew became a director of the fund and set up their Australian operations in February 2014.

Over the next four years, Andrew oversaw over $300 million of investments into numerous ASX, TSX and AIM listed companies. The fund performed extremely well with over 30% return every year Andrew was involved.

In 2018, Andrew was approached by the CEO of Alt Resources Limited (ASX:ARS) to join its board. At the time, Alt was an emerging gold exploration and development company listed on the ASX. Alt owns the historic Bottle Creek gold mine in the Mt Ida Region of Western Australia.

Andrew assisted the company to fund its gold exploration and working capital requirements. During the 24 months Andrew was a director of Alt, the Company received capital commitments for over $17 million.

Since drilling commenced in March 2018, the Company added 571,000oz of gold and 4.38Moz of silver. The Company was later taken over by a large private equity group and was subsequently de-listed from the ASX. The takeover price represented a significant premium to the pre bid price and generated significant value for shareholders.

Today, Andrew has been a director of several listed companies, has completed numerous IPO’s, RTO’s and corporate transactions. He has facilitated over $500 million of capital and investments for several private and publicly listed companies.

With several decades of experience, Andrew has an extensive network and immense knowledge of the industry.  Andrew is an invaluable member to your business if you are looking to grow, scale and provide you with a pathway to growth.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), a Masters (Finance) and is a graduate member of the AICD. He has extensive experience in ASX listings, capital raisings and ensuring company compliance in transactions such as mergers and acquisitions.

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