Simon Gillis

I was born in Scotland and moved to London to read Maths at UCL, and after a brief period of teaching , spent most of my career trading the Financial Markets for a US Investment Bank and then my own fund. Retiring from managing clients’ investments, I went back to the LSE to complete a Masters in Economic History, a subject that is endlessly fascinating. I now trade for myself and do pro bono work for inter alia the Paul Hamlyn Foundation advising investment committees.

I learnt bridge at UCL but mainly played Poker and Chess and after university played particularly badly at the YC for 18 months and then gave up duplicate as trading Financial Markets was so time consuming and exhausting. I did however enjoy playing with my friends at a cottage in Suffolk, but it was more akin to the film “Withnail and I” than any intellectual pursuit. Restarting in the late 1990s I had that ‘defining moment’, coming 5th in Deauville ,that duplicate bridge was, in fact, fantastic; the future was set. I remained close friends with several Norwegian players including Boye Brogeland, Erik Saelensminde, Odin Svenson, Espen Erichsen, Geir Brekka, Marianne Harding and more recently Espen Lindqvist and we tried to play as many events as family life would allow. That meant that my long-suffering wife and 2 young kids spent summer holidays at French Bridge Festivals and winter half term in Reykyavik.

I would prefer to play much more bridge, in particular the Premier League and Crockfords but family time is too short as it is. The absolute must play events are Gold Cup and Spring 4s, surely the best tournament in the UK, the Open Europeans and Rosenblum. The most memorable wins have been Iceland Open Teams (twice), Brighton Teams (twice), Gold Cup (twice) and Deauville, however playing in the European Pairs Final in Tenerife, where I was the only one of 104 players never to have played International Bridge, was perhaps the toughest, and therefore the greatest bridge challenge.

I have many other interests including high stakes cash poker, drinking Burgundy, playing table tennis and reading voraciously, but nothing beats winning a Team Bridge Tournament, particularly 4 handed.

Last updated: October 2016

European Champions Cup: 2015 (EBU team)

Gold Cup Winner: 2010 and 2016

Brighton Four Stars Teams Winner: 2002 and 2003

Player of the Year Championship: 2016/17 - 12th=