HOLDINGS

Jamaica 2019 | ECONOMY | B2B

By investing in areas where Jamaica has a natural advantage, holding companies are not only creating jobs, but also generating wealth for the country.

Christopher Williams
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS
President & CEO
PROVEN Management Limited
Stephen B. Facey
STEPHEN B. FACEY
Chairman & CEO
PanJam Investment Limited (PanJam)

What have been the main highlights over the past year for the company?

Christopher Williams The one word I would use to describe 2018 would be growth. We have seen significant growth in the Jamaican economy; although not at the pace and extent desired at the macroeconomic levels, it is still growing. Companies are growing between 15% and 20% and feeding off the strong construction and mining activities happening within the local economy. This has given rise to the companies within our group realizing organic business gains, lending to credible performance improvements in our diversified income streams. We continue to see and seize growth opportunities because Jamaica is a critical market for us. We own or operate three businesses here and want to see the country continue its recovery and become a strong and stable economy.

How has the company evolved since its establishment?

Stephen B. Facey PanJam started in real estate, which remains a core part of its business. We have, however, diversified our portfolio of investments in response to the changing economic environment and resulting opportunities that arose. We invested in the manufacturing and trading industries, and as tourism became increasingly important, we focused our attention on that sector. Historically, the agro-industry has been a key component of the local economy. We invested accordingly, taking positions that enable the exportation of iconic local products. We are also heavily involved in financial services, which has been a growth industry in Jamaica over the last 30 years. As an investment holding company, PanJam searches the economic landscape for investment opportunities. Over the years, these opportunities have evolved, but we have remained committed to investing in industries that contribute to long-term growth.

What has been your strategy for success?

CW The growth and stability in the Jamaican economy drives entrepreneurs whose resulting confidence pushes them to expand their businesses or start new ones, and both of those require capital. From where we sit, based on our business relationships, we proactively respond or alternately are considered, and our phone constantly rings. Since entrepreneurs are comfortable and feel the future is brighter than the present, they are picking up the phone and calling companies with capital, such as PROVEN. The company is mainly focused on securities investments and also pursues private equity opportunities as they arise, dependent on opportunities being consistent with its comprehensive business strategies and goals—this has been the PROVEN strategy for success.

SBF While we are perhaps seen as entrepreneurial risk takers, we have always invested in a conservative manner. This approach has protected PanJam through economic downturns, while allowing it to thrive during periods of growth. In particular, we believe in fiscal prudence, ensuring we have the required capital to support our projects and businesses so they can weather difficult periods that come along. Of importance is the fact that we have had a strong team of individuals committed to achieving PanJam's goals and willing to face challenges as they emerge. Of course, we have also had some luck.

What are your goals for the next year?

CW PROVEN is a private equity platform that looks for businesses to buy into or purchase. We did one acquisition in 2017 and another in 2018. In 2019, we want to do two, both of which we are already working on. We also want to increase in size and double our total assets, which are currently worth USD500-600 million. We have an aggressive mindset and are looking for opportunities across the Caribbean and Latin America for acquisitions. With this in mind, we will be busy in 2019.

SBF We have a number of projects in the pipeline, and the successful execution of those is primary. Over the next 18 months, our two largest priorities are both real estate-focused. First is the completion of the Oceana Hotel in Downtown Kingston. We continue to be passionate about the Kingston Waterfront and see great value where perhaps others do not. Additionally, we will also develop our hotel project in Montego Bay in 2019, and we are always on the lookout for opportunities, both in the real estate and private equity sectors.