Robert Smith, Baron Smith of Kelvin

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Smith of Kelvin
Personal details
Born (1944-08-08) August 8, 1944 (age 70)

Robert Haldane Smith, Baron Smith of Kelvin, KT (born 8 August 1944) is a British businessman and former Governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation before the advent of the BBC Trust. He is the present Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and Chair of the British Government-backed Green Investment Bank.

Early life[edit]

Robert Smith was educated at Allan Glen's School, Glasgow.[citation needed]


Upon leaving school in 1963, Smith began a career in accountancy when articled to Robb Ferguson & Company. Smith qualified as a chartered accountant in 1968.[citation needed]

He then moved to ICFC, now 3i, until 1982 and joined the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1983. From 1985 to 1989 he was Managing Director of Charterhouse Development Capital Ltd. He also held the posts of Chairman and CEO with Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, CEO of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management and was Vice Chairman of its successor, Deutsche Asset Management, between 2000 and 2002. He has held various positions as director of, MFI Furniture Group plc, Stakis plc (of which he was also Chairman from 1998 to 1999), the Bank of Scotland, Tip Europe plc and Network Rail.[citation needed]

Smith was a member of the Financial Services Authority from 1997 to 2000 and is a member of the Financial Reporting Council. As Chairman of the FRC Group on Audit Committees Combined Code Guidance he was responsible for The Smith Report (2003).[citation needed]

Lady Smith of Kelvin is a Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland from 1993 until 2002 and was a member (1988–1998) and Vice Chairman (1996–1998) of the Museums and Galleries Commission.[citation needed]

Current commitments[edit]

He is currently Chairman of Scottish and Southern Energy and a non-Executive Director of Standard Bank Group Limited. He is also Patron of Foundation Scotland.[citation needed]

On 8 February 2008, Lord Smith of Kelvin was appointed as Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organising company.[1] He was announced as the first Chair of the British Green Investment Bank in May 2012.[2]

Academic recognition[edit]

Smith holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley, where he was invested as Chancellor in 2003. Smith's time at the University of Paisley has overseen the merger with Bell College in Hamilton, intended to create the biggest new university in Scotland. The University changed its name to the University of the West of Scotland in November 2007. In 2010 the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors awarded Smith an honorary fellowship at the Annual Scottish Conference in recognition of his long term support of the internal audit profession.

Personal life[edit]

Smith married Alison Marjorie Bell in 1969. She was initially Mrs Alison Smith, becoming Lady Smith when her husband received a knighthood in 1999. The couple have two daughters.[citation needed]

He owns the island of Inchmarnock, off the west coast of the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde.[citation needed]


Smith received a knighthood in the 1999 Birthday Honours,[3] having the honour conferred by The Queen on the 15 December 1999.[4] On 18 April 2008 it was announced that he was to become a crossbench life peer, accordingly he was created Baron Smith of Kelvin, of Kelvin in the City of Glasgow on 29 May 2008.[5] He was appointed Knight of the Order of the Thistle (KT) in the 2014 New Year Honours.[6]


  • Mr Robert Smith (1944–1999)
  • Sir Robert Smith (1999–2008)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Smith of Kelvin, Kt (2008-2014)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Smith of Kelvin, KT (2014-)


External links[edit]