Editorial

Smith Paves Way For More Locals In Top Executive Roles

He was brought up and raised in Fiji and knows the economic standing not as an outsider but from the inside and understands what needs to be done to improve banking accessibility.
09 Feb 2022 11:15
Smith Paves Way For More Locals In Top Executive Roles
Westpac Fiji newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith. Photo: Westpac Fiji

Fiji has a pool of intellectual talents who are well and capable to lead multinational corporations in the country.

One such example is Shane Smith who became the first Fijian to head Westpac Fiji operations.

Hearty congratulations with perhaps ‘finally a Fijian at the helm’ were most likely the order of the day for Mr Smith when he was confirmed to the position on Monday.

 

And why not? For more than a century, since 1901 when Westpac (formerly Bank of New South Wales) entered the Fijian market during the Colonia Era, expatriates headed the operations.

Understandably there was reason to because of the merit and strategic planning the bank needed to position itself to what it is today.

But now with more Fijians coming up and gaining not only experience but importantly qualification, Mr Smith is one such example we’ve seen in recent years as someone who possesses the same calibre and vision of an expatriate.

 

And perhaps more because valuable to this is he knows the people.

He was brought up and raised in Fiji and knows the economic standing not as an outsider but from the inside and understands what needs to be done to improve banking accessibility.

He knows the challenges of financial access and literacy and more importantly he wants to connect with the people as he stated.

 

“I’m honoured and humbled by the opportunity to lead this great business and build on the legacy of my predecessors,” he said.

“My priorities are connecting with our people, stakeholders and customers who have had it tough for the best part of two years.

“The current situation makes it difficult but I’m really looking forward to getting on the road, listening and ensuring we fulfil our obligations to our customers and the community at large.”

 

Mr Smith has had extensive experience in neighbouring island nations such as Samoa and Vanuatu where he served as general manager.

Additionally, he has also worked with Westpac Australia in the areas of commercial banking and operations, and as part of the Westpac Pacific head office.

He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The University of the South Pacific, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Executive Management from the University of New South Wales.

 

Outside the financial sector, Mr Smith is also respected in other fields such as Fiji’s competitive swimming arena.

His wife is national swimming champion, record-setter and former swimming national coach, Sharon Pickering Smith.

 

Feedback: ranobab@fijisun.com.fj



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