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Kelli-Dawn Hamilton Appointed CEO of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA).



Kelli-Dawn Hamilton is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA).

Mrs. Hamilton, who assumed office on October 26, will lead the entity into its next phase of growth and development.

She served as the Authority’s most recent Interim CEO.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, in his congratulatory statement, said that Mrs. Hamilton will “bring significant experience to the role”.

He noted that she has an acute sense of leadership that will propel Jamaica’s export agenda and attract foreign investments to support the country’s economic growth.

Chairman of the Authority, Chirstopher Levy, expressed his confidence in the new CEO, stating that “we are thrilled to welcome Mrs. Hamilton back to the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority”.

“Her proven leadership and strategic insights will undoubtedly accelerate our growth trajectory and reinforce our commitment to delivering exceptional value to our customers and stakeholder,” Chairman of the Authority, Chirstopher Levy

Mrs. Hamilton said she is happy to be rejoining the JSEZA family and looks forward to leveraging the company’s strong foundation and talented workforce to drive innovation and sustainable growth for Jamaica’s special economic zones.

“Together, we will continue to create and build upon the company’s legacy of excellence and reinforce our position as a strategic hub for trade and commerce in the Caribbean Region,” she said.

Mrs. Hamilton has a proven track record and expertise in trade policy, communications and business development and brings to the table a wealth of experience in business advocacy and client relationships, having previously served in various technical and leadership roles at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), First Global Bank and the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ).

Her strategic vision, strong leadership abilities, and extensive industry knowledge make her an ideal fit to steer the JSEZA towards continued success and global expansion.

Mrs. Hamilton holds a Master of Science Degree in Comparative Politics and Political Theory from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and has demonstrated her commitment to excellence and leadership throughout her career.

The JSEZA is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce charged with driving economic growth through the establishment of special economic zones.

Since its inception in 2016, the company has been at the forefront of foreign and local direct investment attraction within Jamaica’s special economic zone regime.


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Businessuite News24

Ambassador Marks Champions Investment in Women



Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has called for increased investment in women as a moral and strategic global necessity.

She argued that, as half of the world’s population, women are not just participants but key drivers of economic growth.

She noted that they occupy diverse roles as scientists, military members, entrepreneurs, educators, and political leaders, underscoring their essential contribution across the spectrum of human endeavour.

“Women play a crucial role in confronting some of the most pressing global challenges today, from geopolitical conflicts and rising poverty levels to the escalating impacts of climate change,” she added.

Ambassador Marks, who was addressing an International Women’s Conference in New York recently, noted that despite the role and contributions of women, the current rate of investment in women is woefully inadequate.

She said that an additional US$360 billion per year is required by developing countries to achieve gender equality under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“At this trajectory, more than 340 million women and girls will still live in extreme poverty by 2030,” Ambassador Marks lamented.
She noted that closing gender gaps in employment could boost GDP per capita by an impressive 20 per cent,” illustrating the vast economic benefits of gender parity.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (second right), shares a photo opportunity with (from left) Chief Executive Officer of Nevalliance, Dr. Neva Alexander; Jamaica’s Consul General in New York, Alsion Wilson; former President of the Jamaica Nurses Group of New York, Claudette Powell; and past presidents of the Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations in the United States, Karlene Largie and Lesleyann Samuels. Ambassador Marks was at the International Women’s Conference hosted by Nevalliance at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on March 9.

In her rallying cry for societal change, Ambassador Marks noted the potential for transformative change through collective action and commitment to women’s economic liberation.

She called on women to step forward as active participants in the fight for gender equality.

Emphasising the conference’s theme, ‘Leading Ladies’, Ambassador Marks championed the idea that women must not only advocate for change but embody it, inspiring others by becoming exemplary figures in all spheres of life.

“We must all become leading ladies in our own right. Let us be the change we wish to see,” she urged, calling on women to lead by example and show the world the strength and capability inherent in female leadership.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, is greeted by New York State Senator, Kevin Parker, on her arrival at International Women’s Conference at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on March 9. Looking on (from left) are Jamaica’s Consul General in New York, Alsion Wilson, and Chief Executive Officer of Nevalliance, Dr. Neva Alexander.

Reflecting on her own experiences, Ambassador Marks shared powerful lessons on embracing innovation, the value of relationships, and the uncompromising importance of integrity.

She called on leaders, policymakers, and community members to invest in women, highlighting the undeniable return on investment for society’s broader prosperity and well-being.

“To forge a future where everyone thrives, we must all contribute to creating a world brimming with opportunities, where women empowerment is the norm, not the exception,” she said.

The International Women’s Conference, organised by professional development company Nevalliance, was aimed at enhancing awareness about women’s issues and generate resources to support their growth.

By: March 18, 2024

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Businessuite Women

The Success Of Our Financial Markets Is Intertwined With The Success Of This Collaboration.



The Recent Context: In reflecting on recent industry discussions, particularly in the aftermath of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Regional Conference on Investments and the Capital Markets, a common thread emerged—a resounding call for education, training, and continued professional development. It underscores the dynamic nature of our financial landscape and the pivotal role that collaboration between accountants and regulators plays in ensuring a robust and trustworthy financial ecosystem.

Today I will share my thoughts on the collaboration between accountants and regulators, a crucial alliance that stands as the bedrock of investor confidence and the integrity of our financial markets. My thoughts are by no means new to you but are worthy of repeating. In the intricate dance of numbers and regulations, regulators and accountants must join forces not only to maintain the equilibrium of financial systems but to safeguard the very essence of investors’ trust.

The Unsung Heroes – Accountants and Regulators: Before delving into the heart of my presentation I would also like to take a moment to recognize who I believe are the unsung heroes in our financial narrative—accountants and regulators. Both work diligently, often behind the scenes, to uphold the integrity and transparency of our financial markets. It is this collective effort that enables investors to make informed decisions with confidence or to have a recourse when things go wrong which sometimes it does.

Global Trust in Accountants: Accountants serve as custodians of financial truth. This meticulous work as you know involves not just crunching numbers but ensuring that financial records are accurate, transparent, and adhere to the ever-evolving accounting standards. It is through this dedication that investors can rely on the information presented by companies. As the world at large becomes more and more wary of business operations, it is noteworthy that, global perceptions of chartered accountants have undergone a significant transformation. Recent studies indicate a surge in trust of investors during times of economic turbulence and uncertainty. Chartered accountants have emerged as the most trusted financial professionals, with increased recognition of their role in ensuring transparency and confidence. This is because of standard setting, adherence to standards and regulations and the willingness to be proactive and cooperate and collaborate with stakeholders including other standard setting bodies, government and regulatory bodies.

Similarly, in our local context, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica plays a pivotal role in monitoring and upholding the standards of integrity, objectivity, professional competence, and confidentiality. The trust bestowed upon accountants in our jurisdiction mirrors the global trend, reflecting the adherence to these high standards.

In tandem with accountants, regulators act as the vigilant overseers of financial markets. Regulators craft and enforce the rules that govern fair play, market transparency, and investors protection. Regulators are the guardians of market integrity, working tirelessly to detect and prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring a level playing field for all participants. There is therefore cross functional activities between regulators and accountants for the primary purpose of protecting investors.

There must be the Collective Will to act as ‘trustee’ for investors. At the heart of our financial stability lies the collaboration between accountants and regulators. This partnership extends beyond professional duties—it is a shared commitment to act in the public interest, safeguarding the investments and interests of our stakeholders, particularly investors. We saw this played out during the COVID period between ourselves, ICAJ and the FSC where we understood that balance between investors receiving information and the other issues that prevailed. Both Accountants and regulators must work to ensure the strength and proper functioning of our capital markets. This collaboration is indispensable, particularly as investors rely heavily on credible financial information to make sound decisions.

The Role of Accountants: Let’s not underestimate the pivotal role that accountants play in this process. Whether as CFOs, internal auditors, or line and staff accountants, this ability to people in this profession to provide honest and accurate information in a timely manner and in keeping with international best practices, and other legal and regulatory frameworks is the linchpin for attracting capital, maintaining and preserving capital of investors. High-quality and timely information, meticulously provided by accountants, is the lifeblood of our capital markets.

Success Stories: Our markets stand strong due to the active and open dialogue between accountants and regulators. Even at the Exchange, the Regulatory and Market Oversight Division and the ICAJ have active dialogue on market developments, interpretations, and standards that are aimed at ensuring that investors receive the best reports. This collaboration between accountants and regulators has yielded success stories, with oversubscribed offers and successful capital raises, exemplifying the effectiveness of our financial ecosystem. In 2023, we witnessed a commendable mobilization of $18.74 billion in capital through IPOs, APOs, and private offers facilitated by the collaborative efforts of CFOs, accountants, and auditors. The connection here is that without accurate, credible financial information investors would be hard pressed to invest in the capital markets.

Navigating Challenges – A Testimony to Collaboration: The true test of collaboration is evident during challenging times. The recent global pandemic, COVID-19, posed unprecedented challenges, requiring quick and effective responses. The collaboration between regulators and accountants ensured that despite the turmoil, issuers remained compliant, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of our financial ecosystem.

Adaptability has to be the hallmark of accountants and regulators. Your Agenda seeks to Navigate the Evolving Landscape but even as we delve into the agenda for this workshop, the landscape of the capital markets is evolving rapidly. New products, new services, and even new schemes aimed to mislead crops up daily giving accountants and regulators cause to work to find solutions for disclosures or enhancement of standards to ensure that investors are adequately protected.

Your discussions will undoubtedly cover an array of topics, from reporting methodologies to the introduction of sophisticated products and services in this digital age. The ICAJ and members, by having a robust knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, will play a pivotal role in shaping this landscape.

The Future of Reporting: Looking ahead, our focus must extend to the future of reporting. As we build out new and more sophisticated products and services within this digital age, the ICAJ and its members are at the forefront of ensuring that reporting standards are not just benchmarked but are also easily understood, quantifiable, and measurable. This commitment is essential for investors to appreciate and value their investments.
Crafting Rules and Standards: Collaboration between regulatory bodies and the accounting profession is paramount. Rules and standards must be crafted, enforced, and reported on to remove unnecessary barriers to trade. The information shared and the structures in place will enhance trust in the business climate, aiding investors in making informed decisions about capital allocation.

Preserving the Financial Reporting Supply Chain: In closing, let us acknowledge that the accounting fraternity serves as the vigilant watchguard for the rules and regulations set by regulators. This role becomes even more critical in an age of rapid changes. As we seek to keep pace with global regulatory requirements, active collaboration on matters relating to data protection, new financial instruments valuation, and sustainability reporting is an imperative.

A Call for Collaboration: In essence, our success hinges on preserving what we can aptly call the Financial Reporting Supply Chain. Throughout all stages of this chain, from setting parameters for financial statements to enforcing compliance, the accounting fraternity must ensure that the last link, the investors, is protected.

Closing Thoughts: There has never been any doubt in my mind that the accounting fraternity is integral to these stages, adding trust to the entire process. As we collectively navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, let us reaffirm our commitment to collaboration, transparency, and the shared goal of benefiting investors. The success of our financial markets is intertwined with the success of this collaboration.

Speech by Dr. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange given at the Annual International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Virtual Workshop organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), February 2-3, 2024.


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Businessuite Women

The Path Of Least Resistance…Monique Powell



“The path of least resistance would be to just take a job in someone’s company and start enjoying the (comparatively) soft life again. Nothing in this country is set up to truly foster the growth of entrepreneurship. The fortitude and resilience required to stick it out is next level. There’s a part of me that sticks with it because I do feel like the next generation of people who look like me (skin colour and gender) need to see even more visible examples of people from working class backgrounds building enterprises. Money is not what keeps me doing this. The salary I had when I left my job in 2016…a whole 7+ years ago is STILL more than what I take from the business now. Some days I’m motivated to keep doing this, some days I wonder if I’m making the right the choice with my life.”

Monique Powell

#36 Monique Powell, Founder and CEO of QuickCart (formerly QuickPlate)

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Businessuite Markets

Negative Impact In Home Care Business Overshadowed Unilever Caribbean’s Strong Growth In Beauty & Personal Care And Food Channels.



Daniela Bucaro Chairman Unilever Caribbean Limited Has Released The Following Unaudited Financial Statements For The Period Ended 30 September, 2023.

For the nine-month period ending September 30, 2023, the Company reported a Profit After Tax of $13.3m, representing an increase of $12.8m over the same period last year. This was achieved despite a decline in revenue of 14.6% from the prior comparative period to $168.1m. The revenue performance was impacted by changing market forces in selected channels as well as the decline in the macroeconomic environment, resulting in declines in the Solution Wash sales in both the local and regional markets. This negative impact in the Home Care business overshadowed strong growth in the Beauty & Personal Care and Food channels.

Profitability, as measured by gross margin, has improved as the Company continues to recognise more favourable material and freight costs with an improved sales mix.

Savings in operating expenses from improved efficiency and consistent cost management strategies have also facilitated margin improvements. Additionally, during this period, the Company recorded $6.2m in freight and logistics benefits, which were related to the previous quarters of this year. These benefits arise out of the conclusion of global freight rate negotiations and the attendant reductions in freight rates in previous quarters.

During the third quarter, Management has adjusted downwards pricing to pass these freight benefits on to our consumers. The impact of this $6.2m reduction in freight expenses to the period ending June 30, 2023, was an increase in Cross profit from $45.8m to $52m and an increase in Profit before tax from $8.7m to $14.9m.

The Company’s steadfast focus on accelerating profitable growth is supported by the improvement in the category mix, where increases in Beauty and Personal Care sales have contributed 59% of total year to date revenue, up from 39% in the prior comparative period.

This significant shift in product mix has boosted profitability and is aligned to our strategic plan centered on portfolio optimisation and sustainable profitable growth for a future fit organisation.

Notwithstanding the challenging environment, local and in the Caribbean markets, UCL maintains a strong financial position, with healthy cash holdings and retained earnings, and reported Earnings Per Share (EPS) of $0.51 for the period ending September 30, 2023.

New Chairman

Unilever Caribbean new chairman of the board of directors Daniela Maria Bucaro appointments took effect from July 14.
In a notice shared on the TT Stock Exchange website, Unilever said Bucaro has 18 years of experience in the company and has held several strategic roles in Central America, the Andean region and the greater Caribbean. She is a senior member of the leadership team of the newly formed Caribbean and Central America (CARICAM) regions. Unilever also announced the appointment of Carolina Arrieta and Jan Jacques Cot as directors of the board.

For More Information CLICK THIS LINK



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Businessuite Markets

JMMB International, led By Trinidad & Tobago-based CEO Tricia Kissoon, Begins Operations in Barbados



The JMMB Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, JMMB International Limited (JMMB International), officially began operations in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados. This entry to Barbados marks the fourth Caribbean nation in which the Group has a physical presence, the others being Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

This announcement of JMMB Group’s expansion to Barbados was made during the company’s quarterly investor briefing, where Keith Duncan, JMMB Group CEO revealed, “As at October 12, we are up and running in Barbados…and we are happy that we are able to consolidate (our operations) across the region and looking forward to growth and acquiring market share, having done so in the past (in other countries) and we look forward to driving results.”

No stranger to the Barbados market, the JMMB Group had already been serving a cadre of Barbadian business clients remotely, primarily via its representatives based in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Now, with a physical location in Barbados, JMMB International will be able to better offer financial expertise and exceptional client care, all provided by the team based at the new local office.

JMMB International is a licensed securities dealer that will be initially offering a concise suite of investment solutions to meet the financial needs of institutions; government and state-related entities; corporate entities; and high net worth individuals. The investment products and services that will be offered, include: JMMB International Access (an online international brokerage service); access to regional equity and fixed income markets; as well as various capital markets solutions. Additional financial products and services will be made available, as the business’ operations expand over time.

Barbados-based head of business development and executive director, Michael Jordan.

The JMMB International team of financial advisors is being led by its Trinidad & Tobago-based CEO, Tricia Kissoon; who is ably supported by the Barbados-based head of business development and executive director, Michael Jordan. The JMMB International team is excited about the opportunity that this new location gives them, to both deepen and grow client relationships.

In expressing her delight about the opening, JMMB International’s CEO, Tricia Kissoon, said, “As a member of a major regional financial conglomerate, we are extremely delighted to now be able to bring JMMB’s unique approach to financial partnership to Barbados. Rooted in our core value of love, my team and I are committed to providing a superior client experience, along with customised integrated financial solutions that are tailored to suit our clients’ unique needs.” Echoing her sentiments, business development lead, Michael Jordan, shared that, “JMMB International’s team of experts are committed to offering a holistic approach to support our clients’ growth, while partnering with them through the various stages of their financial life cycle, in a way that is easy, enjoyable, empowering and in their best interest.”

In speaking to the strategic role that this entry to Barbados will play in the further growth and expansion of the JMMB Group across the Caribbean region, JMMB Group CEO, Keith Duncan, first praised the team for their hard work and commitment to achieving the goal of opening JMMB’s first office in Barbados. “We saw this as another opportunity to further build on our goal of providing integrated financial solutions across the region, while seeking to uniquely address client needs, especially as they try to attain their financial objectives, all while navigating challenging national, regional and global economies. I am confident that our team will work to partner with our clients in a way that provides win-win outcomes for all.”

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