Tuesday 1 December, 2020

Who will replace Donovan Perkins as Sagicor Bank boss?

Donovan Perkins will be stepping down as President and CEO of Sagicor Bank .Jamaica, it was announced yesterday.

Perkins is acknowledged as a very capable banking  boss, distinguishing himself at whatever assignment that has been handed to him.

Donovan Perkins 

Over a  25-year career he has risen from the Bank of America in Miami to serving as CEO Of Trafalgar Development Bank, CEO of Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank and CEO of Sagicor Bank Jamaica.

It was under the affable and urbane Perkins that  Sagicor Bank announced itself as a significant player on the Jamaican banking landscape with the  acquisition of RBC Jamaica’s assets and so  increased its branch count from 6 to 15. Last year Sagicor Bank made a profit of J$1.8 billion, a 48% increase on the previous year with its loan book jumping by 29% to J$12.6 billion.

Donovan Perkins is the longest serving Jamaican to head an indigenous banking institution.

So who will succeed him at Sagicor Bank?

Here are some candidates

1. Anya Schnoor

 This would spell a triumphant return home for Anya who enjoys a stellar reputation as one of the country’s finest bankers. She presently holds the position of Senior Vice President and Head of Scotiabank’s South and East Caribbean operations in Trinidad and Tobago.

She has worked with Perkins at a senior level at Pan Caribbean before stepping up to the big leagues at Scotia Group Jamaica.

Amiable and very intelligent, Anya has the respect and affection of the banking community and a proven track record to boot.

2. Philip Armstrong

Already the Deputy CEO of Sagicor Bank Jamaica, Phillip now moves to Acting CEO with Donavan Perkins demitting his position. He is already familiar with Sagicor’s culture and practices and it is said that it is better to promote from within thus sending a clear signal that one can make progress here and that this is a company where meritocracy prevails.

Phillip was earmarked as one to watch when he was at Citibank Jamaica and went on to justify that confidence at Pan Caribbean and at Sagicor Bank.

A very quiet and self-deprecating fellow but experienced and highly able and efficient.

3. Bernadette Barrow

A banker of some 30 years, Bernadette Barrow has carved a reputation as one of the best bankers to steer an SME portfolio. If Sagicor Bank is looking to increase its loan book and establish itself in the SME arena who better to lead the charge?

Always elegant and measured she would make a fine champion of the bank.  She is known as a very good team leader and listens attentively to her colleagues.

She has already held senior positions at both NCB ( Assistant General Manager Retail Banking)  and First Global ( VP Personal and Business Banking) and this would signify a natural progression in her career.

4. Dr Wayne Henry

Though Dr Henry has recently taken on the role as Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), he may well relish the prospect of heading up a banking entity looking to set its mark in Jamaica and claim market share.

His CV speaks for itself. A former World Bank Representative of Jamaica, he went on to become a Senior VP at Scotiabank and also was the Chief Technical Advisor to the Minister of Finance between 2009 and 2011. He holds a PhD in Economics and is well regarded and respected in both local and international circles. His bona fides are top draw.

Some bankers tend to be socially maladroit and exhibit dull personas hardly being able to convince potential customers to come in and do business. Not Dr Henry. He is likely to bring energy, graciousness and professionalism to the position.

5. Jacqueline Sharp

Yes, an eyebrow may be raised here seeing that she  announced  earlier this week that she will be stepping down from heading Scotia Group Jamaica.

The quiet pocket dynamo had a big portfolio. This saw her responsible for not only Jamaica but the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks& Caicos and other countries in the Northern Caribbean.

Jackie Sharp has proven to be an experienced banker familiar with all aspects of operations.

She has proven that she can handle big assignments.

Rather than jumping on a plane every three days to oversee a sprawling portfolio, she could channel her reputation for being focused and detail oriented on Sagicor Jamaica and make it an even more potent competitive force.

She can identify talent and knows who are the best bankers around,  so allowing her to put together teams capable of posing a threat. It could just be the position she needs, heading a local banking entity. – as well as keeping an eye on the family coffee business!

6.  Aubyn Hill

This represents an opportunity to return to core competences and take care of unfinished business.
Aubyn Hill has the distinction of heading a bank both at home (Managing Director of NCB) and abroad (CEO of the Bank of Oman).

He is a stickler for standards and performance and leads from the front.  If you require a General Patton type to get the job done and replicate NCB’s ability to ascend to the top spot by vanquishing rivals, then it may be worthwhile taking a look at Aubyn Hill.

When Michael Lee Chin acquired NCB it was a FINSAC’d  beleagued bank with little chance of catching Scotiabank. Under Aubyn Hill’s leadership, all that began to change and today Patrick Hyton and Dennis Cohen in  little over a decade have made it the number one bank in the country reporting stellar profits.

Can Aubyn Hill weave that magic again but this time at Sagicor Bank?

 It would be a feat would it not?

He has played a significant role in shaping this Government’s fiscal and economic policies and enjoys the Prime Minister’s confidence appointing Hill , a Harvard MBA graduate,  to head his Economic Advisory Council. Hill also serves as an adviser to the Minister of Finance and founded his consultancy company Corporate Strategies.

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