Career profile: Smith excited by new challenge at Playtech

Career profile: Smith excited by new challenge at Playtech

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Totally Gaming

Andrew Smith has recently joined Playtech as head of investor relations, having worked with the gaming software provider during his career in the financial sector. Here he tells about the switch and what he hopes to achieve in his new role

Name: Andrew Smith

Role: Head of Investor Relations, Playtech

Education: University of Birmingham & College of Law (Guildford), Law

Experience: Temenos, Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO, Ashurst Could you tell us more about the key areas of your job as head of investor relations?

Andrew Smith: Some people believe that investor relations is about trying to raise a company’s share price but this has never been my approach. I see the main purpose of investor relations being to ensure that a company’s share price reflects the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the business – what investors do with this information is their choice and will be reflected in the share price performance. That said, I truly believe in Playtech, its prospects and its future growth which is one of the main reasons I joined the company.

As with most roles, investor relations is about relationships and day-to-day I spend my time dealing with internal relationships, specifically in  terms of knowing at all times what is happening in the business, as well as external relationships, primarily with equity analysts and investors. Having worked for some huge financial corporations in recent years, what are your thoughts moving into the gaming industry?

Andrew Smith: During my time as a director of corporate broking at Deutsche Bank I acted for many companies in the leisure and technology space, and specifically for Playtech, as well as a for a handful of companies within its wider peer group. One observation about Playtech is that it tends to be benchmarked against other gaming companies with less direct comparison to other technology companies. Given Playtech’s leading technology and growth characteristics, I would like to encourage greater comparison with high-growth tech companies going forwards. What was the appeal of the role at Playtech?

Andrew Smith: As a former client of mine, Playtech was well known to me as a company and I have always remained close to the management team. When offered the opportunity to work with Playtech and the team again, in what I consider to be an incredibly dynamic and interesting industry, it was simply too good an opportunity to miss. What will be the main focus of your first year with Playtech?

Andrew Smith: Although I am already familiar with Playtech having worked alongside them for many years, as the public face of Playtech for analysts and investors, I need to ensure that I can speak credibly about the business. There are no short-cuts to understanding any business and I will be fully immersing myself in Playtech over the coming weeks and months to ensure that I can answer any question thrown at me. What has been your biggest achievement, or the key moment, in your career so far?

Andrew Smith: There have been a few key moments. The first one was when I became a solicitor working for Ashurst – this was my first job in the City and provided the foundations for my career. Moving into corporate broking, first with ABN AMRO and then with Deutsche Bank, was also important as it brought me closer to the stock markets and equity advisory, as well as developing key relationships with many companies, with Playtech being one of them.

Finally, I would hope when I look back in many years’ time I will see moving to Playtech as a key moment as it will allow me to use my City experience for the benefit of a company and an industry that I am excited to be a part of.



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