6.30 am – 8:30 am (for 7:00 am start)
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Albert & Toby Bensimon | Shiels Jewellers
Toby Bensimon is the Managing Director of Shiels Jewellers, taking the position in 2013. Shiels Jewellers one of the leading online jewellery retailers in Australia and operates a network of retail locations across SA, WA numbering over 40 stores. Toby has guided the business through the recent retail downturn and has ensured that the company continued to grow during the current period of digital disruption in the retail landscape.
Toby is also the co-founder of Podpac, Australia’s largest manufacturer of coffee capsules. They contract pack for many well known brands as well as under licence for brands such as Bailey’s. Their own brands Podista and their subscription business to vonsumer brand Urban Brew continue to lead the market in recyclable and compostable innovation in this space.
Albert Bensimon was born in Cairo Egypt and is of French Jewish decent . In 1969 Albert married and he and his wife Nyra took off on a working holiday to Europe . They travelled on a motorbike for one year then decided to come home via Canada. The intended month in Canada ended up being 7 years and his first child Tanya was born there. In 1977 after extensive work experience and marketing studies they decided to return home to Australia . Albert decided that he would put his newly acquired marketing skills and his hobby i.e. making jewellery together and decided to open a jewellery store. As luck would have it the recent widowed Mrs Shiels, of Shiels jewellers had decided to sell their store. Albert bought it and employed her for several years.
His new brand of marketing which had never been employed by jewellers worked very well and the business flourished. His son Toby was born in 1979. Toby was drawn to shiny objects and seemed to be a natural to take over the company one day. After leaving university Toby applied for a position. He was not interviewed by Albert yet still managed to get the job. Toby has worked his way up from kitchen duties, sales associate, manager, regional manager and now managing director. Albert’s other child Tanya lives in Melbourne and runs a very successful independent high-end jewellery boutique – called – you guessed it, Bensimon.
In 1994, Albert helped to establish the Helpmann Academy named in honour of the famous South Australian Sir Robert Helpmann. The academy is designed to promote the arts in South Australia. He was the first chairman and he established its charitable foundation. He is a long-serving member of Rotary and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
Albert has been a great supporter of the arts and of the community in general. Alberts moto is always give a minimum of 2% of ones income to worthy causes. Both has children have followed this rule.
In 2020 Albert was recognised for his efforts in these fields when he was awarded an Order of Australia medal.
Stan Kontos is a speaker, coach, entrepreneur and author with a passion for developing human potential.