5 Minutes With Rob Smith


Meet the MD of CSM Australia

1. Describe your career in 5 words
Rich in relationships, deep in experiences (apologies, 6 words).

2. You have over 10 years’ experience working in sport, media and entertainment in a variety of different capacities ranging from legal to talent management. What lessons have you learned from working across a number of fields, and how has it helped you in your current role as MD of CSM Australia?
I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my career - each one of them I’ve used to build my skill set and experience with a view to ultimately leading businesses and people.  Working in sport and entertainment is a privilege.  It’s very much a people business requiring the cultivating of networks, having integrity, being trustworthy and taking a long-term view. Performance is also very measurable – the scoreboard proving success (or otherwise) ever present. The breadth of experience I’ve had certainly has its benefits, particularly in the context of CSM Australia given the breadth of products and services we offer, the resources at our disposal and the scale, complexity and competitiveness of the Australian market.  Looking at our business from a legal perspective is useful as the devil is very much in the detail – it certainly gives all of our clients comfort that the advice we provide is considered, rock solid and objective. Finally, while data and insights sit at the heart of our decision making, there also remains a place for experience and, equally importantly, instinct in shaping those decisions.

3. 2018 sees the Commonwealth Games come to the Gold Coast and Invictus Games comes to Sydney. What does holding two such prestigious events do for sport in Australia?
Major events are always great to host and these two events are nothing less than premium global events of some significance.  There’s certainly no shortage of premium sports content in Australia – through the next 12 months we’ll be enthralled by the Ashes, Big Bash, Australian Open, Grand Prix in Melbourne, Melbourne Cup (the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’), A-League, AFL, Netball, NRL, Super Rugby and Supercars.  Both the Commonwealth Games and Invictus Sydney, are a privilege to have in Australia and will unite the Australian sporting spirit.

4. What’s the most memorable sporting moment you have experienced and why has is stood out?

I have a few memorable sporting moments, the first being Ian Thorpe giving me a swimming lesson. Never before had I thought about swimming and particularly freestyle in such a technical manner; as technical as you might consider the perfect golf swing.  It was one of my greatest life experiences, to learn from a sporting icon.

Another memorable moment was attending the 2011 RWC Final in NZ with my Dad - although I did achieve a level of anxiety between 70 and 80 minutes I’d prefer not to experience again.

The 2017 Australian Open Final between Federer and Nadal – two of the best athletes world sport has ever had seen, playing the game of their lives, on a beautiful evening. I even got the result I was hoping for although the result in many ways became insignificant.

5. When not at work, where might we find you?
You would normally find me at the beach with 2 tearaway toddlers, walking my dog late into the night on calls to London or at the pub with friends, beer and Fox Sports (preferably Rugby, Cricket or Tennis).  Unfortunately you’re unlikely to find me at the gym or running which is something I must address yesterday!