As CEO of Jersey Business, Graeme Smith is focused on the organisation’s role in delivering economic development to the island, and he works extensively with government and partner organisations to develop collaborative working practices. ACIB qualified and with over 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in the banking industry, both in the UK and the Channel Islands, Graeme was Regional Director Jersey and Gibraltar before he joined Jersey Business. Whilst there he led the RBSI and NatWest Corporate Banking teams serving small, medium and large corporates as well as international trust and fund clients.
What are you watching/reading/listening to?
I’ve just seen Social Dilemma on Netflix. It’s all about the power of social media, both positive and negative, when there is no control and making money is the only motive. Very thought provoking an, at times, quite scary.
My favourite books of all time are the Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister book series – so many quotes that are totally relevant even today.
I always go back to Queen and their amazing front man, Freddie. What you saw on stage (I saw them live three times) was unbelieveable – he had the whole audience in the palm of his hand. Great showmen and orators just know how to captivate their audience.
What are the last three accounts you followed on social media?
- Kamala Harris, the US Vice President-elect, who will be the force, I suspect, behind what will be the new administration.
- Andrew Neil. I love the way he takes on the trolls with facts and balanced opinions
- Bury AFC, the phoenix club for my beloved Bury FC; albeit, I still have some hope that the real Bury FC will come back.
Who do you most admire and why?
Probably Margaret Thatcher. There are a lot of her policies and the way she went about things that I would question but in terms of how she achieved the top job in the UK at a time when if you weren’t white, male and from the ‘right’ social background, you had little chance of rising through the ranks. Based on her talent alone she presided over the UK moving from a country on its knees to one that had real influence on the global stage.
When are you happiest?
When I’m pottering about my garden with Linsay, my wife, early on a spring morning, just before we go for a stroll on St Ouen’s beach followed by brunch at Le Braye.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
It has to be home-baked sourdough bread, still warm, with Jersey salted butter slowly melting
What’s your favourite smell?
An old one and one you don’t see much of now but fresh pipe tobacco smoke. I’ve never smoked myself but when I smell this it always takes me back to my childhood either on the terraces at Gigg Lane (Bury FC) or in my uncle’s bungalow in Lancaster. Smells that bring back memories for me.
What’s your earliest memory?
My Dad and Grandad playing all Christmas Day morning with the new Scalextric set they’d bought for me and my brother. We were told we were too young to set it up and, of course, the adults had to make sure it worked properly, with this testing requiring a long period of time.
What did you want to be when growing up?
I’ve always admired engineers – people who genuinely make something physical work or work
better. Either an engineer or a tree surgeon, being outside, keeping old oak trees alive through pollarding.
What song is guaranteed to cheer you up?
All of me by John Legend. It’s my song to my wife, Linsay, that was played at our wedding.
What would be the name of your autobiography?
Chuckus the Bury Lad who Fell in Love with Jersey – my childhood knickname was Chuckus, based on the Smiths crisps advert slogan of ‘chuck us a packet of them’.