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Time ouT wiTh…


Tom Hill


“i didn’t start with a career plan, and i still don’t have one!”


Tom Hill is Chief Executive of UBS Jersey


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How did you get where you are? Throughout my career I’ve maintained a few principles, which are as important


now as they were when I first started: I only do work I find interesting; I only work for people I respect and trust; and I try my best to listen to any constructive criticism from both clients and colleagues. I’ve been with UBS and its predecessor companies for 27 years, and have worked in four different countries (UK, Japan, Switzerland and Jersey) in nine different roles. I didn’t start with a career plan, and I still don’t have one!


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74 businesslife.co April/May 2011


What is your favourite quotation? Warren Buffett said: “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” That


is true in all aspects of life, not just finance. There is a tendency for people and organisations to rely on safety devices and procedures as a way of reducing the number or severity of accidents, but individual competence is the overriding requirement. Some of the worst accidents – including the recent banking crisis – are associated with blind reliance on risk systems.


Complete this sentence: I couldn’t live without…? A clear conscience. There are very few


possessions one might consider to be necessary, but good mental health is fundamental.


What was your most memorable travel experience? I don’t particularly enjoy sightseeing, and


I don’t much like being a passenger, so travel can


be a chore! I have friends all over the world, though, and I love seeing them. I lived in Japan for about seven years. It was very stimulating – there is nowhere as culturally remote.


this position came up. The job suits me for all sorts of reasons – for example, it has broad scope and I can immediately see the results, positive or negative, of any decisions I make. What’s more, Jersey is a beautiful island and I like the people here.


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Time out… Sailing. Being able to get on my boat and out to sea is one of the very best


things about being in Jersey. I enjoy racing, both around the bay and over longer distances, but I could do this anywhere that has access to the sea. Jersey is a uniquely beautiful and convenient bay for cruising to France, the other Channel Islands and the UK. I also enjoy skiing, which was very accessible


when I worked in Switzerland, reading and playing chess. I play in the Jersey Chess League and enjoy the competition as well as the opportunity to meet new people. I must admit that I probably enjoy


eating and drinking a little too much for the good of my health, so I also undertake sporadic exercise to try to undo the damage! Lastly, I do try to catch up on sleep whenever


I can – though this seems to be, unfortunately, more of an aspiration than an achievement.


Why Jersey? Just good luck. I happened to be looking for something else to do within UBS and


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