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.