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Joanna A. Banks Set To Become The Youngest And Most Powerful Woman In Corporate Jamaica And The Caribbean



When Stephen Facey, then CEO and Chairman of PanJam Investment Limited, announced the appointment of Joanna Banks, its senior vice president of new business development and strategy, as CEO, he remarks included expressions of confidence in Banks’ ability to continue PanJam’s legacy of growing stakeholder value.

“Over the past five years, PanJam has benefited significantly from Joanna’s knowledge base and international experience. She has led a number of our recent investments and initiatives with passion and resilience, qualities necessary for the path ahead,”

Commenting on the appointment Banks said,  “Over the last 55 years, the company has grown into one of the largest and most well-respected publicly-listed entities in the Caribbean, through the hard work of our team. I joined PanJam because of its reputation for investing in Jamaica for Jamaicans. I will lead PanJam in line with that legacy, for the benefit of our shareholders, our team, our partners and the nation,”

Banks assumed the role of head of the investment holding company effective July 1, 2021. A little over a year later she is again kicking more holes in the proverbial glass ceiling making it wider and more accessible for other female executives.

Jamaican conglomerates Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP) led by Jeffrey Hall and PanJam Investment Limited (PanJam) led by Stephen Facey announced recently that they will merge their operations creating the Pan Jamaica Group Limited. The transaction is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2023 with both the renamed Pan Jamaica Group and JP remain listed on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

At a date to be determined during the period January 1, 2024 and January 2, 2025, Jeffrey Hall will be appointed as Executive Chairman and cease to serve as CEO of Pan Jamaica Group.

When this happens Joanna Banks will be appointed as CEO for Pan Jamaica Group and will become the most powerful woman in corporate Jamaica and without doubt its youngest.

Until that date PanJam’s current CEO, Joanna Banks will hold the position of President of Pan Jamaica Group.

Businessuite has not yet secured an interview with Joanna Banks, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for early in the new year.

As noted in another article the big question now is what is Hall’s next move, how far will he go and what’s his end game. Importantly what role will Banks play in his international game of Global Gamesmanship.

As also noted in an earlier article we suspect that Hall and Banks, will have their hands full for the next couple of years with Pan Jamaica Group.

So, who is Joanna Banks?

Joanna A. Banks, BSc., MBA, CFA joined PanJam’s Board of Directors in 2021. She joined the Company in 2016 and held the roles of Vice President and Senior Vice President of New Business Development and Strategy before her appointment to Chief Executive Officer in 2021.

Prior to joining the PanJam team, Ms. Banks worked at Exxon Mobil Corporation and Pan Caribbean Financial Services Limited (now Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited) in roles focused on corporate finance, investor relations, pension fund management and strategy.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Ms. Banks is a Director of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Property Company Limited, Agostini’s Limited, Outsourcing Management Limited and Term Finance (Jamaica) Limited. She also serves as a Trustee of the C. B. Facey Foundation.

To be updated

PanJam Investment And Jamaica Producers Group Join Forces To Form Pan Jamaica Group


Where Will Pan Jamaica Group Rank On The Businessuite Caribbean Top 100?

Businessuite Women

Businessuite 2022 Top Junior Market Jamaica Chief Executive Officer Anne Chang Fontana Limited



Businessuite 2022 Top Junior Market Jamaica Chief Executive Officer –            % change US$ Profit after Tax
CR NR US$000 US$000 2022
2022 2022 Company Chief Executive Officer 2022/2021 2021/2020 % change
10 1 JA Fontana Limited Anne Chang $3,303 $1,938 70%

Anne Chang, Director | CEO
Anne Chang is the Chief Executive Officer and has been a director of the Company for the past 20 years. She has oversight of local and foreign purchasing, supplier relations and marketing.

Anne has also been integral in establishing Fontana’s social media footprint in Jamaica as well the Customer Reward Programme that now boasts over 120,000 members and confirms Fontana as the premier Jamaican beauty destination for women of all ages.

Prior to joining Fontana, Anne was a senior executive at Bell Canada Inc, Canada’s largest telecommunications company for 10 years holding several key positions in Operator Services, Bell retail centres, Finance and Consumer Marketing. Anne holds
an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in marketing from McMaster University.

Financial Report

The impact of the covid pandemic has been especially deleterious for countries like Jamaica that are dependent on Tourism and its related industries.

Against this backdrop, Fontana has emerged as a stronger organization, successfully weathering one of its most challenging periods in our 52-year history. Through strategic planning, careful execution and considered foresight, we believe we have performed well and are pleased with our results for the most recent fiscal year.

Revenues for the past year were up $5.2 billion, a 14.2% increase over the $4.5 billion of the previous year. The past 12 months have been challenging for the entire country and business sector, but in every quarter Fontana’s sales growth outpaced that of the overall Jamaican retail sector.

Gross profit was $1.9 billion, or 14% higher than the $1.7 billion recorded in the prior year, and gross margins moved to 37.8% from 37.7%. Operating profit grew by
63% to $648m, as we were able to keep our operating expenses flat while revenues grew. As a result of these cost-containment measures, profit before tax grew by 105.2%, moving from $264 million to $541 million.

Deferred taxation movements resulted in a net profit attributable to shareholders of $512 million, an increase of 85.3% over the $277 million earned in the previous year.

Cash flow has almost doubled, and cash balances continue to grow as we see improvements in revenues from all stores. Shareholder equity grew by $312.4 million, an increase of 21% over last year, and Fontana has been able to make two dividend payments in the past year.

Net Assets increased by 10% mainly due to the ramping up of the inventories as we prepared for the logistic and supply chain challenges in foreign goods procurement.
As goods become more and more scarce worldwide, shipping and other costs continue to soar. Fontana’s proactive and preemptive moves to increase inventory
will put the company in a position of strength for the coming year. As the current retail mantra goes – who has stock is king!

One direct impact of covid-19 on our operations is that we were again forced to postpone the revamping of our current Point of Sale and Accounting Systems. Both
are over a decade old, and the planned upgrade to a modern state-of-the-art integrated system will create significant improvements in both customer service and
back-office efficiency. Originally scheduled for April 2020, pandemic realities meant changing logistics, and the planned implementation for 2021 has also been negatively impacted by continuing Covid complications particularly in the travel industry.

Overall, it was Fontana’s most successful year to date. We are very pleased to have achieved the $5 billion revenue mark for the first time and to have paid out $200 million in dividends to shareholders. Additionally, we were able to maintain our strong commitment to impact the communities in which we operate as well as
communities across the island

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Businessuite Women

Workshop to Empower and Advance Women in Business



Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon Olivia Grange (centre), converses with Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office, Caribbean, Tonni Brodber (second right), at the inaugural United Nations (UN) Women Yemanja Collaborative: Leadership and Networking Workshop for Woman Entrepreneurs, being held in Kingston. from December 5 to 7. The opening ceremony was held December 5 at the ROK Hotel, downtown Kingston. Others (from left) are: Looking on are (from left): Chair of the Government of Jamaica Trade Facilitation Task Force, Patricia Francis; Head of Culture Programme, UNESCO, Office for the Caribbean, Yuri Peshkov; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn. PHOTO: MICHAEL SLOLEY

The inaugural United Nations (UN) Women Yemanja Collaborative: Leadership and Networking Workshop for Woman Entrepreneurs is being held in Kingston from December 5 to 7.

The initiative targets women of Afro descent from the Caribbean, North and South America and Africa.

It aims to strengthen leadership capacity, empower and equip participants to scale their businesses and create meaningful jobs.

The workshop also facilitates network building and creates mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs in the agro processing and cultural and creative industries.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, in her greetings at the opening ceremony, held December 5 at the ROK Hotel, downtown Kingston, welcomed the initiative.

Ms. Grange said the workshop aims to empower and advance women in business to create a framework that supports gender equality in the society.

“This training and networking workshop presents a great opportunity for us to examine the progress made in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls and explore how progress can be accelerated,” the Minister said.

Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office, Caribbean, Tonni Brodber, in her remarks said the focus on its target group is not exclusionary. Rather, it recognises the unique sociohistorical barriers that have prevented and still prevent many Afro-descendant women across the world from entrepreneurship.

“[A key] objective of the project is to contribute to enhancing the economic empowerment and resilience of women and youth in the micro, small and medium enterprises in the creative and cultural and growth industries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa through strengthened networks and opportunities for employability and entrepreneurship,” she said.

The participants were nominated by their national business support organisations.

The three-day event will see participants engaged in leadership skills coaching and will feature breakout sessions with a focus on coaching in business pitches, diaspora and networking opportunities in Africa and the diaspora, business development coaching, and business financing facilities.

These will be facilitated by industry experts from UN Women, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), among other local and international stakeholders.

At the end of the workshop, participants will pitch their business plans/proposals and receive feedback from a panel of experts.

It is a joint programme between UN Women and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which aims to promote the recognition, justice and development of Afro-descendant women, youth, and women across marginalised groups.


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Businessuite Women

JAMPRO’S Film Commissioner to join International Women’s Forum Global Leaders Fellows Program



Film Commissioner at JAMPRO, Renee Robinson, has been selected to be part of the International Women’s Forum Global Leaders Fellows Program for the year 2022-23. The year-long, intensive leadership development experience prepares Fellows to be leaders for tomorrow through multidisciplinary training that develops the participants’ leadership and management capabilities.

“This opportunity will allow me to fluently speak the language of international deal-making, advance the focal shift of business towards the creative economy, and solidify access to financing for our creative practitioners.”

Robinson’s selection was based on her career as an orange economy expert, content strategist, and thought-leader. She has served as Jamaica’s Film Commissioner since 2016, with responsibility for national economic growth and economic impact of the screen-based industries, advancing employment, film production expenditure, and contribution to GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards, said that “we congratulate Renee for being selected to join this prestigious Fellows Programme. We look forward to seeing her advancement in the next year, and her continued excellent work to develop Jamaica’s creative economy”.

Reacting to her selection for the Fellows Program, Ms. Robinson said it demonstrates the rising shift towards business-focused entertainment industry as a valid economic driver. She noted, “Investing in the creative economy is not philanthropy or corporate social responsibility; it is, in fact, lucrative and critical for socio-economic development. Through the Fellowship, I plan to groom my skills in influencing business decisions that support the creative economy.”


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Businessuite News24

€7-Million Grant For Women In Business And MSMEs



Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke (left), and General Manager (Acting), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Caribbean Country Department Group, Carmen Madriz, shake hands following the symbolic signing of a Non-Reimbursable Agreement for the European Union’s provision of a €7-million (over J$1.2-billion) grant for the Government’s Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme. The signing was held during a Visibility Ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (May 25).


The Government’s Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme has been bolstered with a €7-million (over J$1.2-billion) grant from the European Union (EU).

This will provide support for female-led businesses by helping them to build their capacity to contribute to the economy; assist recovery of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; and support stakeholder climate change mitigation and adaptation projects that contribute to resilience and sustainability.

The funds are being facilitated through a Non-Reimbursable Financing Agreement under the EU’s Caribbean Investment Facility and will complement the US$25-million loan for the BIGEE programme that was provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which will administer the grant.

The BIGEE Programme, which is being implemented by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), aims to promote sustainable and robust growth among start-ups and MSMEs.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke; Head of the European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen; General Manager (Acting), IDB Caribbean Country Department Group, Carmen Madriz; and DBJ Managing Director, Anthony Shaw, participated in a symbolic grant agreement signing on Wednesday (May 25).

This was held during a visibility ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Dr. Clarke, who conveyed the Government’s gratitude for the EU’s support, said the BIGEE Programme is geared towards positioning innovation at the centre of the business ecosystem.

“For [Jamaica] to have the kind of economic growth that can support the kind of jobs [we are seeking to generate], we need value-added private-sector activity which is based on innovation,” he stated.

In this regard, Dr. Clarke, who is also Chairman of the IDB’s Board of Governors, said the BIGEE programme “underscores the Government’s commitment to promoting financing and investing in innovation”.

Mr. Shaw said the grant agreement represents “another step in the long-standing fruitful relations between Jamaica and one of our most dependable international development partners – the EU”.

Ambassador Van Steen, in her remarks, said the grant was indicative of the EU’s renewed commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Jamaica, in a sustainable way.

“The development of micro, small and medium enterprises is critical, not only to the Jamaican economy but to the economies in all countries. Here in Jamaica, they are playing a vital role in the Government’s efforts to spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Madriz said the grant represents “another important milestone in the effort of the Government of Jamaica, Development Bank of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank to strengthen the country’s business ecosystem”.

The BIGEE Programme’s specific objectives are promoting innovation and productivity among established MSMEs with high growth potential, promoting sustainable growth in scalable start-ups, and creating a sustainable pipeline of high-growth potential start-ups.

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Businessuite Women

Businessuite Power 50 Women in Jamaican Business for 2023



BUSINESSUITE Magazine’s  ranking of Jamaica’s leading businesswomen provides a unique opportunity to secure an insight into the professional lives and activity of some of the most interesting and inspiring women in Jamaica’s private sector today.

How we pick the Power 50

What qualities can adequately describe a woman of power and influence on a national level? She is often described as ambitious, driven, determined, creative, a confident leader and a risk-taker. She allows her passions to order her steps, her gifts and her talents to become her own personal calling card.

Powerful and influential women are thriving in their business lives across Jamaica and so the move by the BUSINESSUITE editorial team to select, based on the format created by FORTUNE magazine editors, the 50 most powerful and influential women was truly a daunting task.

As stated, the selection process for the BUSINESSUITE list of the ’50 Most Powerful and Influential Business Women’ is based on a general format created and used by the editorial team of FORTUNE Magazine. This includes:

1. The general size (Revenue, Profitability and Human Resource) and importance of the woman’s company in the Jamaican economy;
2. The health and direction of the company;
3. The arc of the woman’s career and;
4. Societal and cultural influence of the business as informed by key industry insiders and published information

It must however be noted that since BUSINESSUITE Magazine is not privy to the financial statements of some of the companies mentioned, this was not heavily factored into our final listing and placements. Readers are therefore invited to debate and discuss the names and placement of individuals.

They aren’t just successful executives, entrepreneurs, or administrators who are admired and respected within their own organisations, they are the voices that are heard across the industries in which their companies operate, even across corporate Jamaica as a whole.

The Presentation Event – Date to be confirmed
The awards will be given to 50 women business leaders who have achieved strong results in their respective fields. This will be the 1st edition of Businessuite Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Awards, to be held in 2023. Details to come.

The awards are aimed at honouring remarkable Jamaican women who have made outstanding contributions to their organisations and set new standards of administration and performance across corporate Jamaica and the economy.

We will also be seeking to recognise and identifying Rising Stars and Women Abroad.

The Special Edition – Date to be confirmed
The event celebrates and recognises the most powerful women in Jamaican business and salutes the spirit of successful business women with a special issue of Businessuite Magazine ‘Most Powerful Women in Business” Jamaica Edition. Details to come

See also

The Top 40 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Jamaican Business for 2016.

Businessuite Power 50 Women in Jamaican Business for 2013

Businessuite Power 50 Women in Jamaican Business for 2012

Businessuite Magazine December 2014 Digital Edition

BUSINESSUITE Magazine October 2012 Digital Issue

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