On leaving school Craig James joined the (then) Rural Bank, whilst undertaking university studies. He received his Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) at University of NSW in 1984 and then a Master of Commerce (Economics) at the same university in 1988.
Craig remained at the Rural Bank, which became the State Bank over time and then Colonial, working in branches, Corporate, Planning and Economic Research. He became chief economist of Colonial Group in September 1997, before becoming chief economist at CommSec in August 2000 with the Commonwealth takeover of Colonial, interpreting 'big picture' economic and financial trends for customers, clients and staff.
In 2002, Craig joined the Australian Financial Review. He had always wanted to pursue a role in journalism and enjoyed working as an economic commentator and analyst, finding that he could pursue a journalistic-type role as well as doing more electronic media work at CommSec and rejoined the group in 2003.
On taking the reigns of chief economist at Colonial, Craig endeavoured to style their research in a 'user-friendly' way - something that set their research apart and still does today. The approach has been successful in their media work and in promoting Colonial, and then CommSec, to the general public. CommSec is the most quoted economic group in the mainstream media.
CommSec economic reports are a bit different in that they devise tools such as the 'Mums and Dads' share index and the iPod index, and undertake research on the weather and demographic changes to show how they affect the economy.
Craig James currently does around two to three regular TV crosses a day, ad hoc radio and newspaper interviews and writes regular commentaries as well as presenting to staff, clients and external organisations. He was appointed Adjunct Professor at Perth's Curtin Business School in 2012. Outside work, Craig's main interests are athletics and trying to keep up with his three teenage children.
Client Comments for Craig James
- Craig's presentation was extremely relevant and pitched exactly right at our audience. He presented the subject matter in an easy to understand format and provided great insight to assist in future decision making.
Moonee Valley City Council
- Couldn't recommend highly enough. Craig was incredibly obliging, extremely informative and tailored the presentation specifically to our group. We received extremely positive feedback and would not hesitate to have him speak to our group again.
- Excellent of course - fantastic knowledge that was relayed to the audience.
The Investors Club
- The audience response was great. It was the perfect choice for our event.
- Thank you so much for making the time to travel to Brisbane and present at our ‘Building the Resilient Company' seminar on Wednesday.
I have just finished analysing the seminar evaluations and am pleased to say that you were our most highly rated speaker. People's comments certainly reflected that you pitched the presentation at the right level for the audience and they found that you had "good practical economic info which can be used in forward planning". Our government clients were also very impressed with your presentation.
It was lovely working with you and thank you again.
Australian Institute for Commercialisation
- As usual Craig was a gentleman to deal with and provided an excellent presentation on the world financial scene and at the same time made some timely and relevant observations to pharmacies in Australia. It showed that he had researched his topic so he could relate to the primary interests of the audience.
Acclaim Special Events & Meetings
- Craig's speech was brilliant - highly engaging and the response from all our staff was extremely positive. He was able to pitch his presentation to our diverse audience and the content was relevant and easy for all to interpret.
- Australia Through The Looking Glass
"The service from Saxton was very good: professional in all respects."
Gippsland Grammar School
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