The Jamaican securities industry is being urged to remain focused on being accountable and transparent to those it serves by keeping them informed through the principles of financial education.
Rezworth Burchenson, CEO of VM Wealth Management Limited, said this has the potential to solve the complexities of many of the issues currently being faced in the industry, such as the risk of declining investor confidence and uncertainty in the marketspace.
“Given the importance of the industry, it is critical that we are prepared in all aspects to commit to due diligence with regards to enforcing the processes that will result in mutual benefit to all. We need to be solution oriented,” Burchenson said recently as he addressed the Mona School of Business and Management’s Jamaican Securities Industry Seminar.
In 2021, Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, brought forward an assessment of the country’s private securities market, noting that the sector grew by approximately 100 per cent between 2017 and 2020. With this growth, the value of bond issuance transactions doubled from about $200 million to $400 million. This significant increase had a direct impact on the country’s overall economic growth, particularly as it relates to the general profitability that these investments brought to businesses and private investors.
SERIES OF PRESENTATIONS
Against that backdrop, Burchenson reaffirmed his call for local investors, securities dealers, regulators and legal minds to help in restoring confidence in the industry, while emphasising the VM Group’s support for conversations like these which demand candid and clear information on industry-specific matters to encourage wise decision making and financial wellbeing.
For the seminar, a number of industry players converged to engage on the theme: ‘Understanding the Framework of the Securities Industry in Jamaica’. The event included a series of presentations by academics and members of the securities and legal sectors.
Presentations cut across key issues such as investor risk, business models, compensation schemes and the challenges and opportunities that impact the securities sector.
With the event aligning with VM’s strategic objective of improving the financial wellbeing of consumers, Burchenson said there was an urgent need for greater consumer education.
“Securities dealers need to ensure that investors know and understand their rights and what to be mindful of as they seek returns on their money. They also need to be assured that we will go the extra mile to protect these rights and impartially enforce the channels for redress when needed,” he said. The line-up of presenters included Steven Gooden, president of the Jamaica Securities Dealers Association, who provided an overview of the securities industry, and Unit Head for Finance and Accounting at the Mona School of Business and Management, Shirley-Ann Eaton, who spoke on the existing legal and regulatory framework for securities dealers.
With VM Wealth as the lead sponsor, the seminar was also held in association with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.