Success in business – as in sport – depends in large part on making the right calls at the right time. And having luck on your side.

When Louis Huetz de Lemps’ boss sought his counsel on the wisdom or otherwise of buying an ailing rugby union club, the chief executive of French services player Altrad advised the company’s founder not to touch it with a bargepole.

Authorities in Montpellier were casting around for a White Knight to rescue the southern French city’s club Montpellier Herault from going bankrupt, and it was not long before local self-made billionaire Mohed Altrad got the call.