Andreas Whittam Smith

With two colleagues, Andreas Whittam Smith founded The Independent in 1986 and was its first editor. They raised the start-up capital, recruited the staff, found the printers and got the newspaper going. He stepped down from the editorship in1994 without breaking his link. He currently sits on the small operating board under the chairmanship of the Independent’s new owner, Evgeny Lebedev and he writes a weekly column for the paper.

Andreas served as President of the British Board of Film Classification, essentially the nation’s chief film censor, for five years to 2002. He was also the first chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service that handles the complaints of customers of financial services.

Andreas is First Church Estates Commissioner, a Crown appointment that means that he has responsibility for the management of the Church Commissioners’ £5bn investment portfolio. He also chairs one of the committees that assesses whether life assurance companies are treating policyholders fairly in relation to shareholders, in his case for the Prudential.

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