Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Dorset Rise

There was a certain irony to the start of my day yesterday. I went to a Social Mentoring briefing at KPMG's offices, which meant walking up the hill between Tudor Street and Fleet Street along a small road called Dorset Rise.

It was on that very street, in December 1999, that my senior salesman at the time chatted to me, unknowingly, about the multiple moonlighting from JPMorgan that had seen me taking numerous days off over the previous few months to fulfil commitments with BBC Sport and the Daily Telegraph.

He put his arm around me and said, "Mark: can I just say, as we head into the new year and a new decade, that I hope your luck changes... I've never known someone suffer so much illness, the loss of two family members, and the death of so many friends in one year." It was at that moment that I realised that doing two jobs alongside my main contracted one was untenable in the longer term, and I resolved to quit.

So it was ironic that I should have found myself on that same street yesterday morning, the very morning that I quit the job that I went to from JP, at Betfair. Ten years on from last resolving to do so, I have resigned.

It's been fun. But in recent months I haven't been able to offer Betfair as much as I'd like to of what I think I am best at; so I think it's time to move on to new things.

I have set up a company of my own, Camberton, which will offer to a broader church (i.e. I'm on the look-out for clients!) the sort of thing that I have been responsible for at Betfair over the last decade: reputation management, public affairs, PR, communications, and external stakeholder management. It's something I have talked about for a long time and now is the time to do it. And I'm pleased that Betfair think I still have a role in offering that kind of thing to them, because they are my first client! Many of the challenges that I have worked on for them remain, and I will be continuing to advise and work with them on those for at least the next twelve months.

On that, I've had various thoughts, which I have been jotting down but not publishing, on many of the industry issues in recent months. Now that it is clear that the thoughts are mine and not an official Betfair position, I'll stick them out over the coming days and weeks for those who are interested, in the order I wrote them, starting here and here.


  1. Dear Mark
    I wish you the best for the future, i really thank you for helping ADICTEL.

    Now the service is becoming worldwide, with a big portal.

    I am also involved in other companies providing services to the on line gaming industry.

    If i knew more about what you are going to do and if i can help i will do...


    eric Bouhanna

  2. Congratulations on the new company Mark.
    All our best wishes from all Down Under
    Fi x

  3. Well done you. Making the big changes are the hardest, but most satisfying. I'll make sure to PR your PR so to speak.
    Jennifer - luxembourg or broke :)

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  5. All the best Mark!

    I relocated back to Hong Kong two months ago. Am still with Reuters, let me know if there's anything I could be of help.


  6. To new beginnings... All the very best to you Mark!

    Do ping me the next time you are in Paris for a celebratory drink and meal.

    Looking forward to your 'unrestrained' comments on the French gambling market and legislation.

  7. All the very best to you Mark from everyone at Racing Welfare. We have been enormously grateful for your support for the Charity and its work and particularly for the great success of 'Pride of Racing'. We look forward to keeping in touch and our very best wishes for the new venture.

  8. Best wishes, I keep tabs (pun intended) on you .. as I never know when I'll be without public transport money and have to call on a friend.

    Hope to touch base again, write a blog entry one day about your love of Balmoral Beach, Sydney.

    Cheers, Greg Conroy.

  9. Our paths rarely crossed apart from at Company Events but it is always "interesting" when one of the Old Guard decides to move to pastures new.

    Good luck. I'm sure that it will be a massive success.

  10. Good Luck Mark with the new venture - looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  11. Mark Davies is a fantastic man. One of the great pillars of integrity in a very difficult and challenging industry. All the best for the new company, it will be a great success.

    Dr. Declan Hill,
    author of "The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime"

  12. Hello Mark,
    We've got a President here in France who could need your help to restore whatever is left of his reputation.
    Selling betfair to the Frogs was a joke compared to that job.
    All the best,
    Manu Roussel, Equidia

  13. Congratulations and good luck to you! Wish you all the best.