Obituary: Timothy Fraser-Smith, former Glenalmond school captain and successful international banker
Born: 29 June, 1949, in Sussex. Died: 25 October, 2012, in the Bahamas, aged 66
The tragic early death of Timothy Fraser-Smith in the Bahamas occurred when Hurricane Sandy hit the island. He fell to his death after climbing out on to the roof of his house in the Lyford Cay area in Nassau to fix an unhinged shutter.
Fraser-Smith had had a distinguished career in banking in various financial centres and was a much respected figure within the banking community.
Since 2000 he had been the enterprising chief executive officer of Deltec Bank & Trust, an exclusive and private bank, which provides high quality financial and investment advice to a wide range of clients worldwide.
Fraser-Smith, with his considerable experience in the law and financial management, had gained a deserved reputation for his prudent and balanced advice to many of the bank’s clients. Deltec Bank’s chairman, Jean Chalopin, commented: “Everyone – employees, associates and clients – appreciated Tim’s integrity, great professionalism, sense of humour and friendship. Tim was a well-known and much-loved figure within the private banking community, not only in Nassau but in the various financial centres where he had worked.”
Timothy John Fraser Smith was the son of S W Fraser-Smith CBE, MC, who had a distinguished career in the Colonial Service. He attended firstly Lime House Preparatory School in Cumbria and then, from 1963, Glenalmond College. There he made a strong impression and was both captain of the school and the 1st XV. Fraser-Smith led the XV when the school made a rugby tour of Canada in 1967.
Bill Crow, then master in charge of rugby wrote of Fraser-Smith at the time: “His greatest contribution was as captain: clear-headed and seldom under pressure, he pulled the side together on many important occasions. He was responsible for much of the success of the tour.” They were qualities which Fraser-Smith was to display throughout his professional career.
Fraser-Smith had a gap year touring South Africa (much of it spent working on a building site) then took an MBA at Cranfield Business School in Bedfordshire.
He returned to Scotland to read law at Edinburgh University gaining a BA (Hons) before, in 1972, entering banking with Grindlays Bank in the City of London. Further postings in the Grindlays corporate banking divisions followed in Lebanon, Pakistan, Greece, New York and Hong Kong.
In 1984 ANZ acquired Grindlays and Fraser-Smith was appointed to be in charge of its private banking activities in Switzerland. He remained with ANZ, working in London and Jersey before returning to Switzerland to spend more than two years there as head of wealth management.
Shortly after he joined Deltec in 2000 the bank expanded its shareholder base and Fraser-Smith’s expertise in international law and financial management played an important part in its expansion.
Deltec had become recognised for its expertise in the management of funds for international clients and Fraser-Smith had been in the forefront of extending the firm’s international client base.
Fraser-Smith was a devoted family man: his mother-in-law, Jo Smith, remembered him fondly when she commented: “Tim was a great guy – the rock of the family.
“If anybody had any problems they would send for Tim.”
He was much respected in the business community in the Bahamas and his keen sense of loyalty to his work colleagues and clients marked him out as a man of high rectitude and probity.
Fraser-Smith is survived by his wife Hilann and their two children, Dominic and Tiggy.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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