Tell us about yourself
I AM a qualified chartered accountant with a career in accounting spanning 27 years, 25 of which have been spent in Jersey. I currently have responsibility for managing Grant Thornton in the Channel lslands, a post I have held for almost seven years. Grant Thornton currently employs 200 members of staff across Jersey and Guernsey and offers a full range of audit, assurance, tax, corporate recovery, and advisory services to businesses and individuals.
In work, I am very analytical and enjoy finding and working on solutions to problems in a collaborative manner. As managing director, I believe I have acquired the skills to lead positive change and cultivate a healthy, happy and productive workforce.
I am married and have two children aged seven and three. We are a very active family and enjoy many of the wonderful activities which Island life offers, as well as travelling together.
Why/how did you get involved with the Jersey Chamber of Commerce?
As the largest, independent business organisation in Jersey, I consider the Jersey Chamber of Commerce as the ‘go-to’ organisation for businesses of every size and sector to be involved with.
Many local businesses can feel helpless about legislative changes being made that could negatively affect, and have a detrimental impact on, their business, and having an organisation to strongly represent businesses’ views and give them a strengthened voice and direct engagement opportunities with decision-makers is invaluable.
I have been actively involved with the Jersey Chamber of Commerce House Committee and Executive Council for the past five years in the role of honorary treasurer, so I already have a very good understanding of the inner workings of Chamber, along with the current and ongoing issues affecting our members and the Island. Stepping up to the main presidency role is not only a personal honour, but one that I hope to use to deepen and strengthen my ties to the organisation, and use my analytical skill set, industry connections and collaborative approach to work with the existing Chamber team to help promote trade, influence policy and increase prosperity for our members and for the greater good of the Island.
Why did you want to become president?
At Grant Thornton we heavily invest in the local community in Jersey and Guernsey. This investment is either through sponsorship, partnership or allowing members of the firm to take active roles in the local community through associations, trade bodies, sporting or groups of interest. I am personally very keen in seeing the local economy succeed so I am heavily invested in the local business community and giving back.
As the largest independent business organisation in the Island, representing nearly 600 member businesses who employ more than half of the working population in the Island, Chamber finds its way indirectly into many Jersey households and our remit is to ensure that, together, we make Jersey a better place to live and work and help all Islanders become more successful. The role of president is an honorary position that allows me to give more back to the local community for the next three years of my tenure while, thankfully, not having to learn the ropes from new.
The Jersey Chamber of Commerce has been around since 1768. How has it evolved and what do you see as its role in today’s world?
Chamber has a 254-year track record of serving its members through wars, unrest and uncertainty, and this statement certainly rings true in today’s world as the local business community has navigated itself though the unexpected and challenging impact of the Covid pandemic, something in which Chamber played an instrumental part in ensuring local businesses were supported and represented during those unprecedented times.
The Jersey Chamber of Commerce is unique in how it really does represent its business members – a significant number of businesses and individuals in Jersey. Our members are the driving force behind everything we do.
A key strength of Chamber today is the proactive nature of our work in early engagement with stakeholders at the highest level to deal with issues head on, and often before they happen.
Other Chambers of Commerce in the UK do not benefit from these direct links into government, senior officers and key business personnel, which is not only a characteristic of Island life, but testament to the ongoing work put in by the breadth of the Chamber committees and the Chamber executive team.
Chamber pursues matters on behalf of its membership at the highest level with government representatives, and actively monitors and assesses all new or proposed legislation to ensure that members’ interests and views on important matters are represented. Chamber reviews and assesses all States consultation papers, then engages with its membership through its executive committee structure and responds accordingly. We also adopt a proactive stance on key issues, providing recommendations to senior politicians and States departments in a pragmatic and constructive manner.
Since Covid, the appetite for our popular monthly Chamber lunches and breakfast briefing events has substantially increased (after a Covid-enforced hiatus) and we are seeing our events sell out faster than ever before, which clearly demonstrates the key role that Chamber plays in the business community, together with people’s appetites in listening to key business talks, and networking with like-minded businesspeople discussing key matters relating to the Island and business community.
What is your vision for the organisation for the next three years?
Our principal aim is to ensure that the local business community lies at the heart of a thriving and diverse island economy. We will continue to promote trade and commerce for the ultimate prosperity of Jersey and enable our members, established and new, to thrive and support each other’s success while ensuring our members’ voices are heard and providing valuable opportunities to connect and do business.
I personally want to continue the excellent work of previous presidents and their committees and, of course, Jennifer Carnegie, the Chamber president I am replacing. I’m also very fortunate to have new vice-president Daphne East and treasurer Tim Barnes alongside me, together with the expert support of the executive team – chief executive Murray Norton, events and marketing manager Zara Raymond and our new Chamber office manager Lesley L’Enfant.
The organisation must continue to represent the interest of the membership in a balanced and supportive way. We must continue to be at the forefront of local business issues and continue to build and extend relationships with the new States Assembly, so businesses continue to reap the benefits of being part of Chamber.
What do you see as the forthcoming challenges for the Chamber of Commerce and for Jersey?
Personally, I see accommodation as the biggest challenge for the Island, both in the cost of renting and buying accommodation.
If we cannot find a way to bring about affordable accommodation, we will not be able to fill the many staff vacancies being advertised and we run the risk of losing a generation of our population who will either leave the Island for good or not return after leaving to pursue higher education.
From a Chamber perspective, this is not a problem which can be solved by government alone. There needs to be a collaborative approach with all the relevant stakeholders, including Chamber and our members, to provide valuable input into what it takes to resolve this difficult and far-reaching problem.
What would you/the Chamber of Commerce like to see from the new States Assembly and how will you work to support this?
I want to encourage the Council of Ministers and the wider States Assembly to engage early and proactively with Chamber on business issues.
Our members have valuable input to offer and through our various Chamber committees, with appropriate notice, can provide feedback and first-hand insight into relevant business issues that face the Island.
Myself, the chairs of the committees and our chief executive need to ensure we create an environment for States Members to discuss the issues on hand. Conversely, I would encourage the Council of Ministers and Assembly to extend the same courtesy to Chamber and our members moving forward.
If we were in September 2025 looking back, what would you see as being successes for what you, the Chamber of Commerce and Jersey have achieved?
Looking back from 2025, I would want Chamber to still be the leading, independent business membership association in Jersey, with regular active engagement with government and other bodies and associations.
I would also hope to see growth in our membership and the constant evolution of the various sub-committees so we are not stagnant in our view or our approach.
But let’s enjoy the next three years and not wish them away too quickly. Being the president of the largest business organisation in the Channel Islands is a rare thing.
Looking at Chamber records going back to 1938, I’ll be the 40th president since the Occupation and that brings honour and responsibility in equal measure.