Regional

The west backs Byles as BOJ governor

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, June 20, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Richard Byles' recent appointment as the next governor of the Bank of Jamaica has been met with a strong stamp of approval from members of the business community in western Jamaica.

Last Thursday, it was announced that Byles will succeed Brian Wynter as head of the central bank effective August 19.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), Winston Lawson, who is a banker, welcomed Byles' appointment.

“The MBCCI also finds favour. Mr Byles brings to the post a wealth of experience and knowledge to the business and finance sector. He has, throughout his career, commendably demonstrated his passion for national development and focused his energies in like manner. We look forward to his tenure,” Lawson told the Jamaica Observer West.

Richard Wallace, president of the Negril Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also welcomed Byles' appointment.

“Based on his performance and his track record, and his resume, he is ideal for the job. I wish him well and hope that he does a great job on behalf of the people of Jamaica so that we can continue to prosper,” Wallace said.

The Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) also extended congratulations to Byles.

A release from the BPIAJ noted that “Byles' strong economic, financial and policy-making record and involvement over his professional career, ideally positions him to lead the Bank of Jamaica in the coming years”.

“We are confident that Richard Byles, based on his professional history and achievements over the past 40 years, renders him suitable for this role. He has been at the helm of overseeing Jamaica's economic performance and I believe, coupled with his experience, he will continue to help transform Jamaica economically,” said Gloria Henry, president of the BPIAJ, in the release.

“The BPIAJ is a partner in Jamaica's national growth agenda and we are pleased with the nation's outstanding performance to date”, she added.

Henry expressed that since 2016, the debt to gross domestic product, and inflation have fallen, and the policies of the Bank of Jamaica have resulted in increased consumer and business confidence. Investors, especially in the business outsourcing sector, she said, are more inclined to make Jamaica their ideal location for global services.

“The BPIAJ would also like to congratulate Dr Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service and the Government of Jamaica, for selecting Byles for this role. Jamaica has been making significant strides economically with all indices pointing to further growth and development,” Henry expressed.

“We wish the governor success in his new role, and further strengthening of the Bank of Jamaica's reputation as the leading financial regulator.”

President of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, Moses Chybar, in welcoming the appointment of Byles, noted his sterling record of leadership in the private sector and in service to country.

“Based on the fact that he would have been in the sector and would have had exposure to business, we are hopeful that with his appointment and his understanding of business, being a banker and all of that, that the business sector will see different kinds of policies or adjustments to policies that would further enhance the development and growth of business around. We are optimistic that his appointment will assist in the improvement of growth in business overall in the country,” Chybar argued.

Byles has had a 40-year career in business and finance and is one of the most accomplished corporate leaders of his generation. He was appointed Managing Director of Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank in 1988 before his appointment as CEO of the Pan Jam group, a leading, diversified conglomerate in 1991. He led Pan Jam for 13 years before taking over as CEO of Sagicor Jamaica in 2004.

Byles retired as CEO of Sagicor Jamaica in 2017 and was appointed non-executive chairman in that same year. In addition, Byles has been Chairman of Red Stripe and a non-executive director of several other companies. He was co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), formed to monitor Jamaica's performance under its International Monetary Fund agreement. Byles holds BSc and MSc degrees in economics and national development.


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