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Leadership Conversations

From A Global Perspective Our Capital Markets Are Small And Our Regional Exchanges Are Considered Tiny



Now in its twelfth year, the Regional Conference on Investments & the Capital Markets has become a staple on the menu of financial events for all our stakeholders. It is strategically placed at the beginning of the year, to provide the industry with a forum for healthy reflection and effective forecasting.

We have consistently held fast to our conference objectives and are again resolved to ensure that we meet our stated goals which are to:
• Bring together key participants of the financial services industry to discuss and present ideas on issues pertinent to the development of the capital market;
• Facilitate a forum for the development of strategies necessary for the future growth of the sector in the region;
• Assist in the creation of partnerships and improve understanding between financial institutions to allow for the generation of investment opportunities;
• Provide a showcase for industry trends, products and services; and
• Create an awareness of the importance of the capital market to the economic development and prosperity of the region, and to build social and strategic alliances.

This year’s Conference theme focuses on “Global Investment Horizon: Our Options and Our Future”. This theme recognizes that regionally we are a part of an evolving global village with interconnected markets which, although providing its own challenges, gives us viable financial options to improve our future. Our theme also, of course, speaks to the various available local financial instruments and how we must bring diversity and expand on the product offerings to our clients to ensure a viable future. Our conference contemplates that there are indeed new frontiers to conquer, even as we continue to contend with the economic challenges that face our region.

Operating within the capital markets and understanding the importance of equity capital as well as other capital to fuel growth, we believe we have a responsibility to showcase trends, products and services that will drive the growth that has so often eluded us as countries within the region.

Even as we convene this conference, we are mindful that 2017 is what may be considered as a watershed year for the world. It is the year where players in the market are not quite sure of what to expect in the financial arena. The USA has just installed a new President who has announced some bold plans for change and the UK is preparing to exit from the European Union. While the globe waits to react to these unfolding global events we in this space are patently aware that whatever changes are on the horizon for these two significant world players, who are also our largest trading partners, will impact our small and still fairly fragile economies.

We are operating in a world of both positive and negative dynamics that will be expected to give rise to volatility in world markets and increase investors’ anxiety. Therefore within the capital markets we expect that there will be a greater demand for products and services that fit investors’ risk appetite in these times. We must explore these issues over the two days of conference, appreciating the fact that investors are no longer constrained by geographic boundaries but will utilize the same technology that we are utilizing to encourage inflow to our markets, to migrate funds to other markets where there are more options that are not concentrated on only local securities such as government bonds or even local equities. For our local investment markets to grow we must examine the best methods, products and services for future wealth creation irrespective of their origination. Our future, we believe, is one in which we have a global outlook and continuously look to embrace more and more diverse products and services.

As regional stock exchanges and capital market participants we must look at charting a future which includes examining and possibly introducing block chain technology and embracing other innovative vehicles geared at energizing young businesses, through the leveraging of venture capital and crowd-funding portals, to name a few. If we do not claim our space in providing these services with alacrity then that which is vacant will be claimed, because as we know, nature abhors a vacuum. We will have some sessions on these areas in this year’s conference.

We believe that the current traditional and protectionist approach to defending our regional currencies, while having some merit, should be executed with an understanding of how the larger growth agenda will play out against the background of truly mobile funds looking for a home in the global capital market. It is our view that it is only through rigorous analysis that we can appreciate the net gain or loss of not embracing a global and inclusive programme.

Technology is driving the pace of development globally and it is also providing us greater opportunities for capital markets transparency. We must accordingly develop the services and products that will transparently drive the future prosperity of our investors and countries. Our options are clear. We need mechanisms that will ensure market confidence and to this end we must speak more loudly about the inclusion specifically of products, such as a diaspora bond for regional development, depository receipts, ETFs and other Fixed Income products for the retail industry and we must trumpet how our stock markets can be used to increase transparency, stability and longevity and wealth creation. We are pleased to say we will have some announcements for you in this area during the Conference.

Each year we speak about the transparent necessity for privatization, urban renewal, more equitable income distribution, regional food security through agriculture and harnessing regional natural resources to counter the impact of global warming. And each year we have setbacks, usually because we are constrained by either the lack of capital or the lack of imagination. The question is: how do we develop the products to finance these deliverables and manage them in parallel streams rather than as consecutive processes? As countries around the region that are impatient for results, we cannot afford to have one lonely ball in the air at a time. We must become master jugglers.

Therefore we have no option but to train a viable workforce to accomplish the myriad of tasks associated with future growth, as our answer cannot be left in the hands of the few we consider ‘bright’ and resourceful. The access to flexible training-on-the-go will be important as we seek to build competencies among working adults. I am pleased to announce that we have just been approved by the FSC to offer our online securities trading course to our dealers and others wishing to avail themselves of this training. This complements other courses offered by our JSE e-Campus, which offers as its flagship course an accredited post-graduate diploma in financial services management.

From a global perspective our capital markets are small and our regional exchanges are considered tiny, hence within our future plans we must look to consolidate our efforts regionally and embrace global partnerships. I wish to recognize Ungad Chadda, TSX Group President –Capital Formation, Equity Capital Markets who we believe will be a future partner of the regional exchanges. We intend to increase the cross listing of securities in a circular flow and even to establish a new market of Canadian securities.

Finally ladies and gentlemen, there is so much that we need to do within the capital market to combat the lack of hope in so many of our people, as was clearly pronounced on the front page of last Sunday’s Observer which said ‘Jamaicans invest heavily in quest to reach the world’s most popular country – Billion $ US Visa Spend’. Similar stories abound across the region, as many Caribbean citizens become economic migrants, reluctantly pursuing financial success in more developed countries, leaving their hearts at home and splintering our families. We believe the solutions lie within us.

This year’s Conference is (as usual) chock-full of substantial, high-profile speakers who will discuss thought provoking issues and present participants with a raft of meaningful ideas and information. We have always striven to ensure that this conference is not a ‘talk-shop’ and so the impressive slate of speakers will explore topics, and present practical and workable solutions for business leaders and all others attending the event.

We will examine issues such as leadership and governance, investor confidence, regulations, new financial products and services and the key winning industries within our region. The Venture Capital Pitch Room will be open on Wednesday and on Thursday morning CEOs will meet the press to discuss their companies’ outlook for 2017 and beyond.

Keynote speakers include: Jamaican Government Ministers, Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance & the Public Service and the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism as well as the leader of the Opposition, Hon Portia Simpson Miller and the Hon. Michael Lee Chin, head of the Economic Growth Council and Chairman of National Commercial Bank.

Over the next two days let us explore how as a region we can together tackle the challenges and reap the regional and global opportunities. The sessions will prove to be educational and informative. I urge you to make the best use of your participation by asking questions and clarifying any issues from our panel of experts and industry leaders. And of course we wish to see you at the various net-working sessions, as the development of lasting relationships is fundamental in everything that we do. I encourage you to enjoy the Conference and all that it offers.
Thank you.

Marlene Street Forrest
12th Regional Conference on Investments & the Capital Markets
Theme: Regional Investment Horizon: Our Options & Future
The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
On January 24, 2017

Leadership Conversations

A Sector-Specific Mechanism To identify And Develop New Tourism Businesses And New Tourism Ideas.



With the onslaught of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Tourism, has been strategizing the recovery of Jamaica’s tourism industry. The goal of this recovery, however, is not to resume the traditional way of doing business, but to use this opportunity to re-imagine and re-invent our tourism product and value chains.

By doing so, we have championed the Blue Ocean Strategy as the theoretical underpinning of this plan of action. This strategy can be defined as the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open new market spaces and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby rendering competition irrelevant.

It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not set in cement and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players. To implement a Blue Ocean Strategy, we must re-evaluate the premises that inform our understanding of the industry’s assumptions and shape new business models. We must re-evaluate our understanding of the tourism industry, re-assess what we think our customers need and what we offer them. The goal is to expand the value chain and identify completely new products and markets.

To that end the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is tasked with establishing a sector-specific, mechanism to support the identification and development of new tourism businesses and new tourism ideas. We are moving to establish the TEF’s Tourism Innovation Incubator.

This Tourism Innovation Incubator is a business development centre for individuals or entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that can impact the tourism sector. This Incubator will provide a unique and highly flexible combination of services, including business support services, infrastructure; this Incubator will also nurture these entrepreneurs and support them through early stages of development and execution.

I look forward to the successful establishment of this key initiative and the impact that it will have on the future of our local tourism industry.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Click for more information on the Tourism Innovation Incubator

BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.

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Leadership Voices

Keith Duncan and Christopher Williams have two different views on opportunities in the Caribbean. Which one is correct or are they both correct?



“The Dominican Republic is firing, and now Trinidad is firing up. The Trinidad economy has been recovering very nicely and JMMB Bank T&T continues to grow at a faster rate than market. We are really confident that we have a good team in place to drive that growth. We continue to look at opportunities in Central America and the Caribbean; that’s a pipeline that we continue to actively work, and we are hoping for good things,”
JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan




Proven Group Limited plans to avoid acquisitions this year due to global uncertainty, but will continue to develop real estate projects. It’s the second time since the onset of the pandemic that the firm has adopted a passive approach.

“We want to preserve capital. We operate throughout the Caribbean and there are varying levels of downturn. None has been significant as a percentage, nothing greater than three or four per cent, but there is definitely a slowdown right across the Caribbean, interest rate hikes, inflation and supply chain challenges. So we are not looking for any acquisitions as a result; we are just sitting tight and making the best of our existing portfolio.”
Proven CEO Christopher Williams

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Leadership Conversations

How Jamaica Producers Group Has Been Organised To Generate Revenues From A Diverse Range Of Business Lines



Jamaica Producers Group Limited has been organised to generate revenues from a diverse range of business lines and, importantly, a diverse range of markets. Our Food & Drink business includes premium and travel retail products, as well as everyday snacks and basic food items. These businesses are aligned to general consumer trends such as the focus on health, convenience and provenance, and they serve markets as diverse as the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora, Northern Europe, North America and Caribbean travel retail and hospitality.

Our logistics businesses, also operating in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean, handle a wide range of commodities and service a large number of origin and destination markets. Services provided range from shipping and freight forwarding to stevedoring, terminal operations, cold storage and logistics.

We see the diversity of our business as a strength. We are of the view, however, that inflation, supply chain shocks and disruptions to business confidence arising out of war, health-related restrictions, logistics challenges and adverse macroeconomic conditions all present general business challenges in the short term. Our strategy is to build on our core business capabilities in Food & Drink and Logistics & Infrastructure through active engagement and strategic alignment with key customers, efficiency enhancing capital investment projects and selective acquisitions. Core capital investments in our terminal, cranes and warehousing at Kingston Wharves are designed to expand capacity, gain market share and drive
efficiency in our logistics businesses.

Investment in food grade packaging lines, information technology systems, efficiency and hygiene, and health and safety are all expected to bolster the Food &Drink Division in the months ahead.

Based on our acquisition strategy, we will continue to identify other logistics services that support trade with the Caribbean, and Food & Drink businesses in markets that present definite new growth opportunities for the Group. With shareholders’ equity of $18.4 billion (an increase of 9% relative to the prior year) and cash and investments of $10.9 billion, we believe that the JP Group has the balance sheet strength to support this strategy.

C.H. Johnston Chairman Jamaica Producers Group Limited

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Leadership Conversations

Pathways to Transformational Leadership



Leadership is a mysterious blend of managerial acumen, strategic vision, operational efficiency, performance management, tactical planning, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to inspire others to marshal all of their abilities in support of a common mission. Leadership is the nourishing ingredient that can ignite an organization to flourish or stifle to the point that it languishes in a sea of mediocrity. Characteristics attributed to effective 21st-century leaders are skills like:

 The creation of an organizational vision such that people share it and work tirelessly to bring it to fruition, or;
 Fostering communication networks and a culture that breeds trust, confidence, and commitment, or maybe;
 Stirring personal motivation so that people exert deliberate effort to achieve organizational goals, or what about;
 Building teams that tap into synergy, interdependence and performance excellence, and;
 Understanding that organizations are social systems which require tapping into emotional intelligence; or perhaps,
 Making calculated risks within the framework of an overall organizational strategy, and
 Nurturing strategic collaborative relationships that support organizational goals and function as a catalyst for creating opportunities for goal achievement.
Leadership and management of organizations have shifted from transactional functioning, the old “step and fetch it” mentality; to an essential need for transformational cultures that fully engage and encourage the participation of workers at all levels. No longer can performance excellence be achieved in autocratic climates, with orders and assignments dished out without any consideration for the motivations, interests or personality of the individual holding the plate.

In simplistic terms, phenomenal leaders choose, create, communicate, collaborate, convince, coach, calibrate, cause, and calculate, always mindful that leadership is not a system. While certainly, a leader must be intimately acquainted with management theory and its practice, becoming a leader by practice and not merely by position, results from no standard recipe. Impactful leaders are as memorable as are the results they foster are monumental; the path to this pinnacle for everyone is uniquely their own.

Generally, leaders convey five basic leadership personality styles; destructor, procrastinator, caretaker, preparer or accomplisher as they are challenged on a daily basis by four major factors in leadership; personal leadership savvy, the individuality of the followers, the situation and inherent communication networks throughout the organization. This is the case no matter if the organization is corporate, non-profit or faith-based.

Leadership perspectives commonly reflect a structural, human resource, political, or symbolic framework. Structural framework leaders rely heavily on structure, strategy, environment, implementation, experimentation, and adaptation; typically focused on positions and duties as detailed on the organizational chart. Human Resource framework leaders focus on engaging staff, being accessible and visible, sharing information, increasing participation, and spiraling communication and decision-making throughout the organization. Political framework leaders use persuasion, negotiation and ultimately coercion to lead, based upon what they want, what they believe they can get, the political lay of the land, as well as interests; while symbolic framework leaders use compelling language and imagery to convey a vision, and as a means to marshal support.

It is said that competitiveness has been lost by countless organizations as a result of more emphasis being placed on structural, political, and symbolic frameworks, instead of human resources. You see, no matter how significant the financial, product and services, technological or facility resources of an organization; in the end, the social systems, which are the people that comprise any entity, and certainly a truism in the world of organization development, are the key inputs of creativity, innovation, effort and ultimately results.

To lead, one must have a destination in mind, and a path to get there. I believe there is a pathway to leadership, and for those leaders who have the courage to discover and honor their gifts and talents, choose to work with a spirit of excellence laced with personal values, while refusing to play organizational games or allow naysayers and detractors to derail them, achieving their leadership potential is possible. From my work, and shared experiences, I would like to suggest that there are ten pathways to leadership greatness, each linked to a leadership skill that whether or not innate, can be learned.

Pathways to Transformational Leadership
Leadership PATH 1… The Roots of Leadership… Knowing and Leading Self
Leadership PATH 2… The Heart of Leadership… Servant Leadership
Leadership PATH 3… The Mind of Leadership… Visionary Leadership
Leadership PATH 4… The Soul of Leadership… Strategic Leadership
Leadership PATH 5… The Spirit of Leadership …Inspirational Leadership
Leadership PATH 6… The Practice of Leadership… Process Management Leadership
Leadership PATH 7… The Intent of Leadership… Focus Leadership
Leadership PATH 8… The Revolution of Leadership… Change Management Leadership Leadership PATH 9…The Revitalization of Leadership …Transformational Leadership Leadership PATH 10…The Hope of Leadership …Legacy Leadership

Through these competencies, each of us has the potential to unleash the leadership greatness within; expand the understanding and practice of the essential leadership tools that effective leaders embody while gaining personal and organizational leadership insights that enable us to model and coach the cornerstones of synergetic leadership to others.

John Maxwell, in his work, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, sums it up well in what he calls the “Law of the Lid.” Maxwell says that no organization’s effectiveness will ever surpass that of the leader, and for those of us who choose to embrace this mindset, it becomes clear, that in the absence of transformational leadership, an organization will merely flounder. Transformational and authentic leadership is the hope for the future, for, without it, organizational chaos will continue to burgeon.

©Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, a thought leader, a Leadership and Organization Development Solutionist, an International Social Entrepreneur, Management Consultant Business Development and Quality Management expert, holds an earned doctorate in Organization and Human Development. She has over 20 years of experience motivating, coaching, inspiring and transforming organizations, youth and adults. She has crafted and implemented myriad programs aimed at assisting organizations and people of all ages to discover their inner greatness and unique strengths. The CaribVoice Radio Host is the author of a personal and leadership development curriculum for girls entitled, Soulful One: For Girls on the Pathway to Greatness; and three books, A Woman’s Guide to Soulful Living: Seven Keys to Life and Work Success; Tropical Escapes, a novel; and Follow Her Lead: Leadership Lessons For Women As They Journey From the Backroom to the Boardroom.

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Leadership Conversations

Is fake it until you make it the worst advice EVER?



In the “Material World” of the 1980’s and 1990’s, appearances trumped authenticity. So if you could pretend to be successful, you could hoodwink people into believing you were. So there was a time when “Fake it until you make it” was advice that actually worked for people (until they burnt through all their money and had to return the house and car).

Today, there’s 4 big reasons that this is the worst advice ever:

Reason One: No one judges you anymore on “what you do”. Everyone is more interested in “who you are”. So being your true self is the No.1 most important asset you have.

Reason Two: There was a time where “what you knew” as a teaching teacher – whether a lecturer, doctor or lawyer with a “body of knowledge” – was what people valued. It took time to acquire. Today, when thing are moving so fast (and all knowledge is easily accessible online), “what you’re learning” as a leading learner is far more important than “what you know or knew”. You can be a leading learner in whatever niche you’re most passionate about from the moment you choose to commit to it – without faking anything.

Reason Three: “Faking it” was all about what you “pretended you owned” – the big houses and the fast cars. Today, AirBnB, Uber, and all the crowdsourcing sites erase the need for “ownership”. We now live in a culture where what we experience and what we express is far more valued than what we own.
Reason Four: No one wants to work for or with someone trying to be what they’re not..
Don’t fake it until you make it. In fact, don’t even make it. Just be it.

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Sourced from the internet – Roger James Hamilton

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