Style Observer

My Kingston - Johann Heaven

Sunday, August 05, 2018

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Johann Heaven, President & CEO, PROVEN Wealth Limited

What's your middle name?

Roderick.

Share with us your funniest 'joke was on me' moment.

I was at the National Stadium pool at a Prep School Swim Meet watching my daughter swim, about three years ago. It was a windy, rainy afternoon, but the Stadium stands were still packed. As my daughter lined up for the 50m freestyle finals, I took my spot on the pool deck, with phone in hand ready to record her race. The starter set them off and as they approached the 25m mark, I moved along the deck, umbrella in one hand and phone in the other, recording the race. The race got really close as they approached the finish. All of a sudden, I have no idea what happened, but I was right on the edge of the pool, my foot slips and I fall into lane 1, phone, umbrella and all! I managed to, however, compose myself really quickly and got out the pool before half of the Stadium realised what happened. Thank God there wasn't a swimmer in lane 1 or else I would have ruined their race. That was hands down my most embarrassing moment.

Which cologne are you splashing?

I'm not a huge fan of cologne. I prefer clean and unscented.

What's your definition of wealth?

For me, wealth is not about the accumulation of money and material things, but more about how we use our resources to enrich our lives and the lives of others around us – ultimately it is about improving and making better everything we touch/encounter. It's about putting ourselves in a financial position so that we can live a happy and fruitful life, the definition of which can vary widely for different people.

Given a year's contract (subject to renewal) how would you position Kingston as a High Net Worth destination?

A high net worth destination means, for me, somewhere rich with culture and meaningful engagements (business and pleasure). Kingston has the potential and is that.

I would take a three-pronged approach. My number one priority would be the development of the basic infrastructure within the city and to focus on its appearance and cleanliness. Civic pride and general cleanliness have a way of permeating and lifting the behaviour and demeanour of a civil society. This lends to national pride and order and will give the perception of wealth which will bring more wealth. The second key element would be to build the pride and joy of the citizens by ensuring that the basic human needs are being met and there is a framework for maintaining and developing on these. This takes the will and might of every Jamaican taking ownership of how to add or extract value in this regard, as no one person or group of persons can make this work; this has to be the effort of every Jamaican. Finally, I would encourage major investments in the city by offering incentives to both local and overseas investors.

Entrepreneurship is to be taught in schools... What are your thoughts on a scholarly approach to wealth?

I fully endorse entrepreneurship being taught in schools, as I am an advocate for having a sustained model for cultivating enterprising individuals. Building a strong entrepreneurial culture is a critical component to the development of any nation. We Jamaicans are so creative and all we really need to do is to position that creativity in a positive and structured manner and you'd be surprised how quickly Jamaica could be on the path to strong economic growth. This entrepreneurial mindset would help to propel us to act quickly, to be ahead of, or aligned with, other nations in how we unearth and sustain the wealth across all industries that are unique to our talents and resources.

What's your preferred currency, and why?

The US dollar is my preferred currency as it's the reserve currency for most countries worldwide.

Were you stranded on an island with five individuals who would they be? Why?

It may sound corny, but it would have to be with my wife and three kids, as I love spending time with them. One person who inspires me, however, is Warren Buffett as he's the consummate investor who is also humble and unassuming and has reached to his level through hard work and being the best at what he does. So, Warren would be my preferred outsider and fifth person.

What's currently on rotation on the car stereo?

My car radio is stuck on Fame FM.

What's your favourite movie?

I'm a huge fan of comedies. Spaceballs, Airplane and History of the World are my all-time favourites.

Finally, what's your personal philosophy?

Take things one day at a time. Work hard, love hard and enjoy every moment of life as if it was your last day. Put family first!

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