Simon Pilkington, the former CEO of affiliate group KaFe Rocks, has launched a new joint venture with recruitment specialist Wander.
Pilkington headed up KaFe Rocks until December last year, when he stood down following a five-year tenure with the business.
Now, through his industry consultancy SMPL Consulting, Pilkington has joined forces with disruptive headhunting firm Wander to bring its approach to recruitment to the iGaming sector.
Wander’s approach to recruitment “sets out to balance profit with purpose,” by matching individuals with companies that “have a reason to exist that isn’t just to make a profit.”
Founded in 2019, Wander works with brands from most sectors, and now aims to increase its presence in the iGaming sector through its JV with SMPL Consulting.
Together, the companies will lean on SMPL’s existing network and knowledge of the sector together with Wander’s recruitment experience.
They intend to leverage that expertise to offer the sector “a fairer, relationship-led, people-led, ethic-led recruitment and executive search service where all parties – partners, job seekers, industry, and recruiter – can win,” Wander and SMPL said in a statement.
The firms added that their aim “is to improve the standards of the iGaming and recruitment industries, one person at a time,” while also giving back to the industry through charitable profit sharing.
Charitable donations will be focused on the areas of problem gambling and environmental issues.
“In a recruitment landscape driven by algorithms and automation, it’s easy to forget the impact of a deliberate, considered and thoughtful approach, where taking the time to understand individuals and build genuine connections leads to remarkable results,” said Wander founder and MD Ricky Wilkes.
“I am so excited to be working with Simon and looking forward to all the new partnerships we hope to make in this sector”
Pilkington added: “I’m thrilled to be able to introduce and facilitate Wander’s entry into the iGaming industry. Ricky and I share many personal values and believe we can make a positive impact on the industry through the people and businesses we work with.
“iGaming recruitment, like many industries, has been in status quo for too long at a time when the world has changed dramatically – there’s a huge space for fairer, partner-led, and ethic-led recruitment where all parties can win,” he added.
Playtech has turned to English courts to seek clarification on “a point of disagreement” related to Caliplay, its joint venture with Mexico-based operator Caliente Interactive.
The London-listed supplier described Caliplay as “a highly valued customer” and “a highly successful and rapidly growing business”.
However, the two parties disagree over whether Caliplay still has an option to redeem an additional services fee that was included in a prior strategic agreement between the companies.
Under the initial agreement, the option was stated as being exercisable for a period of 45 days following the approval of the audited accounts of Caliplay for the year ended 31 December 2021.
Playtech said it believes the option has expired and previously referred to its expiry in its interim report for H1 2022.
While Caliplay has not sought to exercise the option to date, Playtech said the company has made it clear that it does not consider the option as expired.
The option was structured in such a way that the services fee would either be agreed upon by both parties, or failing that, determined by an independent investment bank.
The bank would value the fee based on Playtech’s current entitlement to receive additional services fees until December 2034.
For the six months ended 30 June 2022, Playtech said the amount of those service fees was €34.4m.
Playtech is now seeking a declaration from English courts to determine whether or not the option has, in fact, expired.
In August, Playtech scrapped plans to publicly list Caliplay due to the rising cost of capital.
According to Playtech’s H1 2022 results, Caliente has grown to become the supplier’s largest customer, with B2B revenue from the Americas reaching €69.8m in H1 2021, up 37% year-on-year.