Last year was a tumultuous year for the Bank of Queensland, with the organisation being the first Australian bank in 20 years to post a full-year net loss. The shocking reported loss of $17.1 million for 2012 highlighted Bank of Queensland’s vulnerability to regional economic weakness, particularly in light of wild weather and flooding that ravaged the north-eastern state. But it allowed the bank’s new management team to finetune the company’s balance sheet and give confidence back to its customers and shareholders.

CEO and Managing Director Stuart Grimshaw was a field hockey player for the national New Zealand team in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He joined the company in his current role in 2011 after having been a non-executive director of Suncorp Group and CEO of Caledonia Investments. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Commonwealth Bank of Australia and 10 years with National Australia Bank, where he ultimately landed the role of CEO – Great Britain. The CEO Magazine sat down with Stuart to discuss the insights he has gained throughout his career, the Bank of Queensland’s plans for the future, and how he has been inspired by the story of Billy Beane in Moneyball.

The CEO Magazine: With extensive experience in the finance industry, what lessons have you picked up along the way that have helped you in your current position?

Stuart: Finance is a people business. At the end of the day, if you can create an environment for your team, trust them, and allow them to grow, you’re going to get much better results than just relying on textbook strategies or looking at financial statements. I don’t think banking is too different from anything else; if you can get a great team of people and provide them with the right environment, you’re going to do a lot better.