The AIM-listed online gambling group Gaming VC Holdings S.A. has announced key appointments and departures effective immediately, a move that caught most industry observers by surprise.
Richard Cooper is appointed Finance Director and Karl Diacono as Non Executive Director, replacing Gerard Cassels and Adrian Smith respectively, who will depart the company with immediate effect. No reasons were given in the company statement for the changes, leading to some speculation.
Cooper is a Chartered Accountant who spent the early part of his career in the money and stock markets where he was a finance director at Tullett Prebon and Fidelity. In later years, he has been the Group Financial Director at a number of quoted companies, including the internet financial software supplier, Patsystems Group plc. In early 2005, he became a founder director of Trident Gaming plc, a special purpose vehicle set up to acquire and run internet gaming assets. Trident acquired Gamebookers significantly increased its profitability and then sold it to PartyGaming plc for three times its acquisition price. Trident also owned a betting exchange "BetBug" and a stake in an online payment processor. Cooper is also the compiler and author of a soon to be released compendium on the finances of over 70 online gaming companies.
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Diacono has experience in the corporate, hospitality and online gaming sector, both in Malta and internationally, having held senior executive and non executive positions in a number of privately owned companies in Malta, Italy and Cyprus. He is currently CEO of Fenlex Corporate Services Limited, Managing Director of Impetus Europe Consulting Group and a non executive director of various online gaming companies. He is also a Director of Gaming VC Corporation Limited, a Maltese subsidiary of Gaming VC S.A. to which Fenlex Corporate Services Limited also provides certain payroll and administrative services.