'Who Dares Wins' is a motto that Michael Gooley naturally took to heart during his career in the SAS. But, in the early '70s, Gooley left the army, bored with the lack of travel opportunities. He set up as a travel agent, and, rather daringly, one would think, specialised in despatching the venturesome on long-distance treks to the sort of rugged terrain which the SAS would find challenging. So was born Trailfinders. The agency has built a reputation for getting the best deals for cut-price fares on inevitably long-haul flights. In the year to the end of February 1992, Trailfinders made a £5.1 million profit on a £96 million turnover. With no borrowings and a balance sheet that would be the envy of many a public company, I imagine it would easily be worth £50-60 million if floated on the stock market. Gooley, now 56, owns 95% of the shares. I reckon that his last battle must have been the best.
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