The Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL) scandal has placed Jamaica’s entire financial sector under scrutiny with the public taking a cautious approach. It cannot be readily said that overall confidence has evaporated. One bad apple hasn’t spoilt the whole barrel.
Jamaica’s securities dealers have built a robust and trust-worthy industry and will now have to demonstrate why it is trustworthy and that clients and investors should have no fear when doing business with them.
Julian Mair has for decades being a leading light in Jamaica’s investment industry and is a man of impeccable character and reputation.
He is JMMB Group’s Chief Investment Strategist and the Chairman of the Board of The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).
On the opening day of the JSE’s 18th Regional Conference on Investments & The Capital Markets under the theme: ‘Capital Markets Redefined: Achieving the Impossible’, Mair underscored the importance of trust and the role it has to play in the sector.
Below is his full address:
It is not fortuitous that this Conference comes at the beginning of each year. Indeed, we are strategic in placing the event in January. Coming as it does at this time, it provides the industry with a forum for vital reflection and thoughtful forecasting.
What does the year ahead look like at this time, well lets start with the positives, its likely to get better. Fun and jokes aside, this years conference is being held during one of the most disturbing times in the Financial System, a time when our system appears to have failed one of our most treasured Sons, the natural question that arises is, “if they can do that to him then who is safe”?… Trust is at risk
Trust: A single word that means everything, the trust that we all place in family, friends, colleagues, vehicles, planes, JPS, Phone, Data and In our Financial Institutions is the foundation for the life that we live and without Trust there is chaos, but in the words of Chronixx “how mi fi trust if mi nuh certain”. Our Investors, Clients and all who consider becoming clients of our industry must have confidence and Trust in those empowered to serve them and their investment needs
With every challenge comes opportunities: We did not build a $1.4-trillion industry by chance, this is the diligently built envy of the region, it is our duty to protect it through deliberate actions to highlight the numerous structural protections that we have built into our markets such as the JCSD, JSCDTS, Retail Repo Trust, Online Trading, Online IPO execution, CSD, RTGS, and building them all on a technological backbone that allows live access to clients and institutions addressing both the movements of Securities and Funding. THIS IS BIG, this is transparent and this is Where we are now.
This is serious business and our clients are our entire business, that’s not news to any here, let us ensure that the narrative of our service industry does not get defined by those self-serving Persons and Pundits who Rise to Prominence based on Likes, Views and Followers and have found that the peddling a negative narrative is their strongest tailwind
New regulatory environment: Exciting new days, lets not forget that we have built a regional leading Capital Markets Industry, and as we transition to the new paradigm of Twin Peak regulatory model which sees the Bank of Jamaica assume a more dominant role across the Financial Sector, I am cautiously optimistic that the growth of the sector will continue to be strong, stable and will remain the home for creativity in solving the funding and investment needs of clients.
The truth is that the experts in the Bank of Jamaica are more than capable to assume the roles with which they have been tasked and many of them have had to consider matters that affect the entire financial system including Dealers many times over their careers, I look forward to working with them to ensure a smooth transition into what will be our regulatory framework for the future.
As we transition into the new regulatory framework, let me not miss this opportunity to do what may not be popular but what is right, I would like to formally acknowledge the hard working team at the FSC who over the past 20 years would have worked closely with the securities industry to develop the rules and guidelines which despite current news has served our clients and entire investment ecosystem well. The Monumental body of excellent work executed over more than two decades cannot be wiped out within a few weeks, your contribution to the development of the Capital Markets is recognized and appreciated. We recognize that your role will change under the new Regulatory paradigm and we look forward to working with you within the context of your new mandate.
In closing, let me make it clear, the Capital Markets across the region is growing and its continued growth and integration is critical to allow the Caribbean to fulfill its massive potential for economic growth and development. We the regions Capital Markets practitioners are the ones who are charged with the mandate to get that job done and it is for us to utilize this time and let this conference be the place to start new or to build on old relationships, the year is young and there is no time like the present.
God Bless and Protect you and Guide you and your actions in 2023.