YOUR MONEY POWER 5 Top 5 CEOs for 2009
“There can be only one”. This phrase was popularized by the 1985 film, The Highlander, and featured a group of individuals in perpetual search of what is known as the prize. The business terrain of 2009 was as treacherous as any challenge in the film and as such Your Money saw it fit to award our “prize”, to the top Jamaican CEO of the year and also list the four others who made it a tough decision. The ranking was made after examining the stability, profitability and all-around business health of the companies headed up by the individuals on our list.
PATRICK HYLTON Heading the list by a nose this year is Mr. Patrick Hylton, Group Managing Director of the National Commercial Bank. Mr. Hylton steered the NCB group past the $10 billion profit mark for the first time in bank history with an 18% increase over the previous year. NCB showed why it was named “Bank of the Year” at the internationally renowned Banker Awards by showing a 25% increase in net loans to garner the lion’s share of the local market. The continued dominance and increased profitability of the group’s main institution give Mr. Hylton the edge in our 2009 power 5. BRUCE BOWEN Our runner-up is predictably the head of the country’s other powerhouse, the Scotia Group. Mr. Bruce Bowen took over from Mr. William Clarke in 2008 and since then he has not even given the inkling of a skipped beat. The Scotia Group reported a whopping $11.1 billion net income for 2009, a 19% increase over the previous fiscal period. While contributing the bulk of the profit the banking division saw some decline as it struggled to cope with a ballooning bad loan portfolio.
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RICHARD BYLES Richard Byles CEO and President of Sagicor Life Jamaica fought off his own dire predictions for the economic year to register over $4 billion in the first 9 months of the year despite indications that the company’s premium growth may be lagging somewhat. Sagicor stood tall despite predictions that layoffs and an eroding economy would negatively impact the company.
Chris Williams Chris Williams, Managing Director of NCB Capital Markets was steadfast through tough times. The wealth management firm was turned on its head following the totally unforeseeable collapse of American firm Lehman Bros last year and the management had to dig deep to churn out a net profit of $1.6 billion. This performance lands the budding entrepreneur in the 4th spot.
ANYA SCHNOOR Rounding out the top 5 is perennial performer Anya Schnoor, CEO of Scotia DBG Investments. Ms. Schnoor oversaw a 49% increase in net income for the first 9 months of the year despite being burdened by a remnant of their relationship with Lehman bros. SDBG reported earnings growth of 72% to JMD 2.13B in the year, while Net Profit rose to JMD 732.58mm from JMD 485.57mm in the quarter.
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How will you “Boltarize” your Internet Presence? Provided by Chris Daley During the final week of October, we celebrated the 40th. year of the Internet, and how has the world changed since its inception! I remember reluctantly trotting down cow paths in St. Catherine with my small herd of goats grumbling all the way. Now, I find myself navigating the super highway called the Internet while sipping a latte at Starbucks. Like a perfect storm, there has been joining of several monumental forces, namely chip and software technologies, the personal computer, and tele-communication has given birth to the knowledge era. While Bolt dashed into immortality this summer, 47, 900 folks were doing search on the Internet. While Shelly Ann Frazer was also making us proud, 53, 650 folks were using the web to satisfy a need. These searchers are trying to find goods and services offered by 1 trillion plus websites. Yes, the rules for business growth and marketing effectiveness have changed. You are persuaded to participate in this global network, but how can you stand out this enormous crowd? Success does leave hints that the perceptive adopt. Solutions have been devised that have brought much ka-ching to the winners. Google Ads words, writing articles, posting to free classifieds, and other search engine optimization techniques are a few techniques among many tools being used to land one’s website in the top ten of the Google search and garner those buyers. There is an old adage that is being practiced in a new way. People buy from those who they know, like and trust. So to build relationship with folks, one has to enter an interactive engagement. Social media is the broad term that is used to be the umbrella term to cover all the activities that fosters this engagement. Social media refers to all activities and practices among a community of people who gather online to share information, and opinions using conversational media. The content of these interactions comprises texts in blogs, and twitter, video in Youtube, and audios in podcasts. The applications that are spear-hearing this social media revolution are Facebook, and Twitter. The adoptions
of these tools have been astounding. Time Magazine recently documented the growth of these applications from April ’08 to April 09’: Google grew 9% Facebook grew 217% Twitter grew 1,298% There is an intrinsic human need to belong and to be connected. When you have a great product or service, you can leverage these capabilities to join the winners of the 21.st century. Along with the technical ingredients, several other important spices will be needed to complete this winning solution. The winning relay teams exhibit both ingredients – collaboration and trust. So are you ready to create a compelling capability?
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War and the Economy Your Money Reporter: Andre Burnett Motown recording star of the 1960s and 70s, Edwin Starr, struck a chord within the hearts of many anti-war Americans during this period with his recording of a song titled ‘War”. The hit song asks “War, what is it good for?” to which a resounding chorus answers “Absolutely nothin!” ,a line which millions have echoed over the decades. But, is this really the case, or does war in spite of its devastating and catastrophic consequences have intrinsic benefits especially for the economy? The west face of the United States Capitol in Washington DC The idea that a war may actually have a positive effect on the country waging said war arose truth that stares us in the face is that wars are expenfrom the increased production that occurred in the United States during the World War II (WWII) and sive. They are expensive in the spending of large sums the subsequent exit out of the period known as The of money, in the colossal loss of life and the extensive Great Depression. “WWII forced the country to utilize physical capital depletion that inevitably occurs. Yes, the wasted resources that were present at the time and there are arguable benefits of conflict but these would thus created a demand for unemployed workers and gladly be foregone by anyone who looks at the totality underused factories” says Virginia Postrel in an article of the effects of war. written for the New York Times in 2003.
By the numbers, US unemployment fell drastically during the war to a low of 1.2% in 1944 while Gross National Product rose by 37%. If you look past the fact that a lot of “employment” was in the armed forces then these numbers lend a lot of credence to the notion that WWII might have effectively ended WWII. Economist David R. Henderson refutes this by stating in his 2006 article that much of this “employment” was in the armed forces where many were given the choice between enlistment and jail. He further posits that measurement of GNP was a useless one because although production was increased, a lot of what was produced was actually destroyed. Aside from the WWII arguments wars have contributed greatly to improvement of infrastructure (albeit destruction of infrastructure in the short term) and technological and medical innovations. It is well-known that many of the freeways built during the cold war were built in the anticipation of their use as improvised runways and even GPS which has found widespread commercial use was created during wartime. While benefits can be found if one is to look deeply, the
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December 9, 2009