Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gambles Paying off as Centaur Targets Growth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gambles Paying off as Centaur Targets Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter McCusker

SPORTS investment firm Centaur is betting on a solid future with revenues expected to rise by 400% in the next year as its funds under management grow and its unique City-based trading academy develops further. Launched 10 years ago by former local government finance chief Keith Sobey from his Seahouses home, it opened a base in the City last year.

Last year Centaur managed pounds 5m of clients' cash in its four sports' betting funds, producing annual revenues of pounds 0.5m, with one fund producing annual returns of 200% for clients. Mr Sobey is currently in talks to manage pounds 6m of one wealthy individual's cash and expects to be managing funds of pounds 20m - producing revenues of pounds 2m - by the end of this year.

And later this year the trading academy it opened in the City in 2010 will launch a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Gambling and Business Management.

Mr Sobey believes the 18-month MSc and 15-month MBA will become the industry standard and he wants to open similar academies in California and New Jersey in 2012 as the US gambling market deregulates.

He said: "We have achieved our corporate ambitions so far, but nothing is guaranteed.

"The creation of the City training academy and the opening of the City investment office have increased our profile and provided a major impetus to the business.

"We had a successful 2010 but are anticipating significant growth this year and as things currently stand we expect to be managing funds of pounds 20m by the end of the year producing annual revenues of pounds 2m. …

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