LONDON — Alex Loudon is one of a small handful of people to have achieved success in two very distinct spheres — sport and business.
Before starting a business career in mergers and acquisitions with brewing giant SAB Miller, Loudon was a successful pro-cricketer, playing at county level for Warwickshire and in one game for England.
Now, aged 36, Loudon has just launched a new investment firm, Abercross Holdings, started alongside two partners, Andrew Woodhouse and Issam Hamid.
While in many ways the worlds of sport and business are hugely disparate, there are skills that can be transferred between the two, and many sportsmen and women go on to successful post-sporting careers.
“There’s lots of transferable skills,” he told BI. “Whatever anyone does in their 20s, they can learn the same things. Whether that’s in sport, drama, acting, business or anything else.”
“The ones that I took with me were work ethic, teamwork, self-learning and understanding, you know, growing up basically.”
Dealing with high-pressure situations is something that Loudon says he took from cricket, which is one of the most individualistic of team sports. Cricketers may be part of a team, but their contributions are very much their own.
Batsmen are judged on how many runs they score, bowlers on how many wickets. Placing such value on the individual brings a unique type of pressure, something Loudon believes helped him during his transition out of the sport.
“One additional thing that cricket and other pursuits that are in the spotlight can teach is dealing with pressure and performing when you need to. Obviously, that’s a life objective to be able to do that.
“Having early exposure to pressure situations, seeing how people and yourself react and trying to work out ways to improve is something I got from cricket. That is something that will continue to be helpful moving forward.”
Having a strong work ethic and being able to deal with frequent failures is also something Loudon says helped him early in his business career.
“I think, things like work ethic, whether you go work in a bank, or a business, or a sports team, people who do well will have a good work ethic,” he told BI.
“I guess I learnt the lesson that if you really persevere — and you have to do that in sport because there’s a lot of failures when you’re younger — the worm eventually turns and things turn in your favour. But to get that you need to be resilient and persistent.
“The more times you have a problem or a challenge that you overcome, the more you realise that its possible. With a new career change, or an important deal to do — whatever it is — you know that even if you’re not getting it right right now, you will get there if you keep at it and work hard.”