London, UK. Euro 2020: An infamous tortoise, by the name of ‘Bixi’, unsuccessfully predicted England snatching the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship. The historic game, England’s chance to try and seize the cup since 1966, took place in Wembley Stadium, seeing 60,000 fans experiencing Italy’s win on penalties.
Bixi, a rescue sulcata tortoise from the family Testudinida, has been involved in a series of predictions around the UEFA 2020 championship, promoted primarily through LinkedIn, the popular social media platform for businesses.
Bixi made headlines and started gaining traction when predicting England’s result in the semi-finals, through a mystic method of walking towards the ‘winning’ flag of competing nations.
But the running streak came to an end at the UEFA finals. When presented with England-Denmark flags, with strawberries and sauerkraut, respectively, Bixi ambles towards the flag of choice to make a prediction, chewing on the preferred item of food. In line with the bookies’ favourites earlier on in the week, Bixi’s choice played against the odds when Italy defeated England, in penalties, at Wembley Stadium.
Bixi told TFG: “Despite the result, I have loved the excitement of Euro 2020. All these extra treats beyond my normal grass and greens!
“I am obviously a bit shell-shocked that Italy won. These predictions were fun but it “tortoise” not to be too serious” Bixi continued.
Bixi fans and UEFA enthusiasts from the trade finance community, were, however, less impressed at Bixi’s performance.
Bixi’s owner is LinkedIn influencer Jolyon Ellwood-Russell, trade & commodity finance partner at the law firm Simmons & Simmons. Previously, Bixi has been known to make trade finance explainer videos, working with Ellwood-Russell to demystify complex and nuanced terms in trade and structured finance. He said: “Bixi is a rescue tortoise, we adopted her from the charity HKHerp. She was apparently discovered being smuggled in a container at the Hong Kong port, so we had to give her home and felt it rather fitting given my interest in all things trade, supply chain and TBML. She is now very much part of our family and should outlive us all!”
TFG spoke to another LinkedIn influencer and trade finance evangelist, Andrea Frosinini, based in Italy, who said: “I’m so proud of Italy, I’m so proud of the boys in blue for playing such a brilliant game this weekend and an astonishing tournament. UEFA 2020 came home to Italy, and this result, as with many predictions, demonstrates that you can’t trust tortoises all of the time! Bixi we now have to discuss on how to enhance your performance when predicting the winners and losers for tradetech companies for 2022 as well.”
Speaking to TFG, Colin Camp, Senior Director, Business Development & Sales, APAC at Pelican, said: “I’m shell-shocked! Bixi joins the likes of Ponzi and Madoff on the list of the greatest fraudsters of all time. I had my doubts when I saw that Italy had a player called Shellini in defence. Too much of a coincidence? He obviously lured all us English into a false sense of optimism before our fall. It wouldn’t surprise me if a clip was uncovered showing him eating Turtleini Pasta before the game.”
Tomatoes and Strawberries: Questionable Methodology?
Some, however, did question the methodology of the predictions. Vlad Drigin, Data Analyst at Trade Finance Global disagreed with Ellwood-Russell’s methodology: “I’d challenge the robust methodologies of these predictions, it’s not apples with apples (it’s tomatoes with strawberries).
“In order to statistically validate such predictions, we’d ideally look at swapping around the sauerkraut and strawberries, and repeating the process several times to form an accurate, statistically valid prediction.” Drigin said.
Not the first prediction
It’s not Ellwood-Russell’s first prediction, however. In TFG’s 2020 trade and supply chain finance predictions, he formed part of the panel predicting the rapid digitalisation of trade finance. Pre-COVID, this was the prediction – it definitely panned out that way!