PCA PRESS RELEASE
Former Surrey and Glamorgan man on realising his business dream.
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Stewart Walters has spoken to the PCA about his journey towards setting up The Market Bull, his recently launched start-up which provides daily stock market news globally.
Walters, 37, enjoyed an eight-year career in professional cricket between 2006-14, scoring over 5,500 runs in 191 appearances for Surrey and Glamorgan.
In retirement, Walters returned to his native Australia to work as a coach with Perth Scorchers and Western Warriors, but he has recently realised his ambition of starting a business in the corporate world.
Now, he is looking to expand The Market Bull into the UK market and beyond, and Walters spoke to the PCA about the unique challenges he has overcome so far, as well as what his ambitions are for the future…
- What is The Market Bull and what is your role within the company?
- We’re a media platform for listed companies on the stock market, existing as an avenue to get their media announcements out to the world. We do that through our website, and we’re covering announcements on our social media platforms too.
- I am the Managing Director of the company, but I’ve basically started it from scratch. We’ve got some incredibly powerful people behind it, and from a clientele point of view we’re absolutely fine, which is not unheard of for a start-up business, but it is pretty rare. At the moment, I’m really keen to grow our following globally, which will help to attract new clients.
- Do you have a strong background in this area?
- To be honest, not really! I got a little bit lucky last year when I took a job at a company called Proactive Investors, where I was introduced to the market for the first time. So I had quite limited knowledge around it, but met some incredible people during my first 10 months in the industry, which helped me to step up this process of going into business for myself.
- Where did the idea come from?
- I’ve always wanted to run my own business, but I needed to learn more about the industry. The longer I was at Proactive, the more I looked at their model and tried to compare it to some of the other companies out there. From there, I designed this product as a combination of everything, with our point of difference being that we’re heading into Asia, and there aren’t many global companies out there that offer what we offer.
"My whole life up until now has been cricket, and building networks and relationships within cricket circles. I’m now using those same skills to build relationships and networks within the corporate industry."
- So, what does The Market Bull offer the average PCA member here in the UK?
- You’ll get an understanding of emerging developments within the stock market, with a particular focus at the moment on mining, health, energy and tech. You’ll be given live information and market updates as to what’s happening in the global market. There will also be articles up around listed companies and what their latest announcements are, as well as video interviews with CEOs and MDs of listed companies explaining what their businesses are doing. You’ll also gain access to a library of podcasts covering many different sectors.
- How’s the journey been for you personally?
- Having retired from professional cricket, I certainly don’t feel like I’m a stressful person any more! Getting my front pad blown off every other innings wasn’t great, so getting out of that and into something else has been a really good feeling!
- The Market Bull has three founders, all of whom have brought different strengths to the business in terms of capital and advice, which has allowed us to move forward. They’ve offered a great database of contacts and new clientele, so the whole journey has been a great experience made easier by the people working on it.
- Having launched last week, how has the initial reaction been?
- It’s gone really smoothly. Companies have really enjoyed our animated videos that we’ve put together, which is something that not many companies do. So I’ve had some great feedback, and we’ve increased our social media following which has led to some backers coming up to help us, which is always handy.
- What have you been doing between retiring in 2014 and now in order to prepare for this?
- I was at the WACA for four years as an Assistant Coach for the Western Warriors and Perth Scorchers, looking after batting and fielding. So my whole life up until now has been cricket, and building networks and relationships within cricket circles. I’m now using those same skills to build relationships and networks within the corporate industry.
- Those interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to build networks has been crucial. Retiring and having kids has also given me a completely different perspective, which has played a big role in reducing stress too. There are other focuses in life other than watching a cricket ball and trying to hit it for a living.
- What are your ambitions for the future?
- I’m looking to sign 100 clients in the first 12 months, which I think would be a huge achievement, but we’ve certainly got the network to be able to do it. We’re wanting to quickly build our following, which will only bring in more clients.
- I haven’t been as excited about something work-related in many, many years. Being able to set this up and watch it grow will be really special for myself and my family.
- Are you going to stay involved in cricket?
- I privately coach a couple of the Western Warriors and Perth Scorchers batters, so I’m still involved in an albeit limited way, purely because of time restraints. That keeps my involvement in the game but I still also play on weekends for a local cricket club, and I had a pretty decent season just gone averaging around 50!