Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica-based NCB Capital Market Limited Steven Gooden says Barbados remains an attractive place for investment, adding that his organization is quite eager to take full advantage of those prospects.
Last evening the company, which boasts total assets in excess of US$4 billion, officially launched its Barbados operations at the Vista Complex in Christ Church.
Addressing the gathering, which included top business officials, Gooden said the new office will serve the entire Eastern Caribbean.
“You may be asking the question, ‘why Barbados?’ And I will respond by saying, ‘the time is right’,” said Gooden, who also suggested that there were “favourable possibilities stemming from a need for capital to increase investment and drive economic rebound”.
He also pointed to a strong investor appetite for products and services while stating, “our clients across the region have a desire to invest in more tax efficient structures, which Barbados offers.
“This, plus the added benefit of being able to create varying products for our customer segments, while being able to foster strategic relationship within Barbadian companies makes Barbados extremely favourable,” he added.
What’s more, Gooden told the gathering, which included businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams and hotelier Peter Odle, the country’s “agreeable” regulatory framework presented opportunities to “craft new products and features” that would help to diversify and increase the value proposition that the company presented to its clients.
He said NCB Capital Market (Barbados) Limited, which will start with three staff members, would draw on the expertise of its parent in Jamaica to help grow the local operation.
NCB Capital Market Limited is the wealth asset management and investment banking arm of the National Commercial Bank Group of companies in Jamaica, offering a range of services, including equity, money market and mutual fund products as well as corporate finance and portfolio management services for individual investors.
The company also has operations in the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago and is embarking on “phase two of its regional aspiration”, which includes expansion to other territories, including the Dominican Republic.
Warwick Ward, former deputy CEO of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), is the chief executive officer of NCB Capital Market (Barbados) Limited.
Ward said the company would act as a catalyst, working with stakeholders in Government and the private sector, to help drive growth locally and regionally.
“NCB Capital Market is cognizant of the Barbados Government’s desire to expand the nation’s economic output while avoiding inflating the nation’s debt to GDP ratio. To meet this objective a key approach will be to arrange project financing via public/private partnerships and other private inflows,” said Ward.
“We will be focusing on efforts in arranging, structuring and providing funding for tourism infrastructure projects and the development of major infrastructure developments, such as roads, manufacturing facilities and utilities, just to name a few,” added Ward.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Jepter Ince welcomed the company to Barbados, saying it was “a vote of confidence” that the island had been recognized for its economic management, political stability, viable economic and social environment by the Jamaica based company.
“While we acknowledge that challenges do exist, there remain significant opportunities and this administration appreciates that NCB Capital Market has identified the opportunities as indicated by management decision to establish a presence in Barbados,” said Ince. (MM)