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JOB IN FOCUS: Simon Trim, 41, MD of Sporting Solutions

07 February 2012

Career background? Started in the betting industry with William Hill as a shop manager before I moved to Ladbrokes Sporting Spreads in 1996. I was hired by Bill Eacott [father of the Racing Post reporter Paul] and then joined Sporting Index in 1998. Sporting Solutions is a subsidiary.

How did your role change in becoming MD of Sporting Solutions? Sporting Solutions provides the product to Sporting Index as well as other sportsbooks. I have always been closely related to the product side of the business, so in many respects it is a natural transition. We've worked hard at bringing in a team who are the best in the trading and technical marketplace, and that has allowed me to spend a bit more time on the strategic development of Sporting Solutions.

What did you think of ICE? I loved it; it is always good to see a few old faces. It was a bit of a whirlwind as I was in back-to-back meetings all three days, but that's a sign of how much interest there is in Sporting Solutions right now. It will be interesting to see how the show evolves next year at ExCel.

What is Sporting Solutions' strategy? The Sporting Index Group has a strong trading heritage and we were pioneering in-play betting long before Betfair or bet365 were around. We have always invested heavily in our trading team and that, combined with the technology and algorithmic models we have developed over the years, put us in a market-leading position, both as a spread betting company and as a B2B provider. And your key customers? We supply operators around the world, including William Hill, Sky Bet, Centrebet and Blue Square.

Everyone, including you, seems to be talking about the 'cloud'? Yes, we launched a new product range called Cloud Calculation Engines, or C2E, which provides sportsbooks with access to our industry-leading pricing models. It is supplied through a single point of integration, so sportsbooks can give their traders the best pricing tools available. It also enables sportsbooks to dramatically reduce operating costs through the elimination of data centre, hardware and system maintenance costs. How has in-play impacted on the trading floor?

In-play betting continues to rise at an exponential rate.However, it is not cheap or easy to do well. Bet365 are widely acknowledged as the leading player, but they invest huge sums in both staff and technology. Smaller sportsbooks can't compete with that, so an outsourced in-play trading proposition is the perfect solution.

What's your favourite sport? Football.

Best sporting moment? Brian Gayle's own goal for Sheffield United against Leeds in 1992. Effectively it won Leeds the league and Man United went into their26th year without a title. Unthinkable now.

And favourite racetrack? Sandown, especially on a summer evening.

Who's your hero? Speaking as a bookmaker, Andy Carroll!

What's your greatest achievement? Leveraging the inherent pricing and trading skills of Sporting Index and creating a best-of-breed B2B proposition from it. Best piece of advice? Be honest with yourself and understand what you're good at. You can teach turkeys to climb trees but squirrels will always be better.

Any long-term bet suggestions? The obvious focus is Euro 2012. In that respect you can do worse than look for teams with home advantage, and Poland and Ukraine are both big prices. However, the best outsider is Croatia. They've got a tough group, but every chance if they get through it.

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