A school leaver at 16, Matthew Riley completed a training scheme fixing fax machines in his hometown of Burnley before joining Deutsche Telekom. With an ambition to break the monopoly of the larger carriers, he set up Daisy Communications in 2001, pitching himself as the David to BT’s Goliath.
Riley – who received £27.6m in cash for Daisy Communications and 24 per cent of the shares in the enlarged company, worth almost £50m – paid tribute to retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, whom he met in 2007 after winning the Bank of Scotland Corporate Entrepreneur of the Year: “Sir Philip Green helped me all the way through this deal. I can’t thank him enough,” said Riley, after the float. Related articles:Have Cowell and Sir Philip got enough talent?Profile on Philip GreenSir Philip Green breaks the £1bn barrier