You may have heard the story, but there are certainly some who haven’t. In the late 1980s, Matthew Benham completed his master’s degree at Oxford University. For about a decade, he studied and accumulated experience in economics, which paid off when he got a senior position in a leading American bank. As is often the case in this area, people diverge slightly from their area of specialization at university, but never venture too far away. That’s what Matthew did. He started working for a bookmaker, where he was in charge of the department that develops mathematical models.
Gaining experience in the new field, Matthew and his then teacher decided to diverge once again. They decided to study the mathematics of betting more deeply, and how different models can be used to make solid profits.
Bannon’s success continued. In 2004, he founded a company, where he cooperated with some very big names in the field. Things are going great and the business is rapidly gaining momentum. The growing capital enables the businessman to lend his favorite football club, Brentford, 700,000 pounds. Interestingly, the contract included a clause stating that upon non-execution (if it’s not paid back in 5 years), Benham has the right to acquire shares in the club.
As you can guess, Benham took advantage of the situation of the low-division club Brentford, replacing its structures completely to be controlled by analysts. The school began to train players rejected by other clubs and sold them for tens of millions. Some of the transfers in question are Said Benrahma, Neil M. and the now famous Aston Villa player Ollie Watkins.
As a result of all of Matthew’s efforts and business acumen, Brentford has managed to achieve its biggest milestone to date: joining the English Premier League. England’s highest echelon brings in an extra $300 million to Benham’s coffers. Of course, he doesn’t pocket the money. That would turn fans against him and stop his ambitions to achieve something even bigger.
Matthew’s success story is just one of many that make us think about how each liability can be turned into an asset, as long as we have the experience and knowledge to make it happen.