03/24/2012 : FORMER WORLDSPREADS CHIEF HAS OTHER IRONS IN THE FIRE (Update)
Conor Foley holds an 80 percent stake in a new business, the Sporting Circle, set up specifically to target high-rolling sports punters.
According to the Irish Times in a report published Thursday, the founder and former chief exec of disgraced financial spreadbetting company Worldspreads Conor Foley has other irons in the gambling industry fire.
The newspaper reports that Foley is the biggest shareholder (reportedly with 80 percent) in a recently established high-end bookmaking business based in Dublin branded Sports Circle. The new enterprise is apparently focused on high-rolling sports punters.
Foley resigned as chief executive of Worldspreads “to pursue other interests” last week, shortly before it went into administration with a GBP 13 million shortfall in its funds amid allegations of financial irregularities, which the police have been called in to investigate..
Worldspreads directors and Foley himself stressed last week that his departure was not connected with the company’s financial problems, which were only discovered after he resigned.
Company documents show that Foley holds the entire issued share capital of ISH Hedging and Trading, which in turn owns 80 percent of the Sporting Circle.
And Conall McSorley, Worldspreads former business development manager, holds the other 20 percent.
Sporting Circle began trading just under a year ago, and operates as a members club which offers both deposit and credit sports betting to clients, from whom it pledges to take substantial bets.
According to its website, McSorley founded the business and it is backed by substantial business figures from Dublin and London. London-based businessman Michael Fitzsimons is a director of both ISH Hedging and Trading and the Sporting Circle Ltd.
Meanwhile, Worldspreads is now in the charge of joint special administrators Jane Moriarty and Samantha Bewick of KPMG, who were appointed by Britain’s Financial Services Authority this week.
Their immediate focus will be to retrieve client funds and ensure that customers are repaid. They will also examine directors’ conduct and the circumstances of the collapse. Initial soundings of the business indicate that it only partially hedged its risks.