I’M FROM Jersey and my first job was with a menswear business that my brother-in-law and I formed in the late 1980s. Shortly before I sold the business, I met some traders who opened my mind to London and the markets.
I joined the London Commodity Exchange in 1996 to trade coffee in the days of the open outcry exchanges. My stripey light blue and dark blue jacket might not have gone down too well in the menswear store, but it was a tremendous experience, full of larger than life characters and the perfect place to learn about trading.
After three years, the open outcry became an electronic exchange and I returned to Jersey to become a stockbroker. I’d be the first to admit that I didn’t have a passion for coffee beans, and even less for P/E ratios, but I loved the environment and the hustle and bustle of London.
In 2006, just before the World Cup in Germany, I saw an advert in the Racing Post for a variety of trading positions at Sporting Index. I’m a self-confessed sports junkie, so saw this as the perfect opportunity. The World Cup was great, and it was thrilling to be sat on the trading floor, speaking with clients on the phones and watching sport on multiple screens.
Not long after joining, I became a greyhound trader. Now, I didn’t know that much about the dogs, but that wasn’t too important. The key thing is to learn about the tracks and their biases, as weather conditions can make a huge difference at certain tracks.
For example, Crayford is very tight with a big camber. If you get a lot of rain there, the dogs on the outside have a big advantage as all the water drains down to the inside. Whereas Newcastle is a very flat track with no camber, so the rain doesn’t make as much difference.
The spread betting markets we offer on the dogs, “Barking Mad” (aggregate number of first multiplied by second placed trap numbers) and “Bananas” (aggregate number of first multiplied by second multiplied by third trap numbers) are very volatile, so the weather can have a huge impact.
I’ve also been the company’s trading spokesman for the past two years, providing interesting betting stories to the media. One that still amazes me was our SPlengths market in the 2009 Grand National. This was the SP of the winner multiplied by the winning distance. Our quote was 130-140 and with Mon Mome winning at 100/1 by 12 lengths, the market made-up 1,200, with one client making over £10,000 from just a £10 buy.
I’m very fortunate to go to some fantastic sporting events. I’ll be at Cheltenham for two days in March entertaining clients and also at the Emirates for the Arsenal v Barcelona game. For a sports nut like me, it’s simply the best job in the world