Ezine Business 2004
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Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T).
by Geralyn Edward
Bernard Dulal-Whiteway, group chief executive officer of the Trinidadian conglomerate Neal & Massy, says his company did not exert any influence over the decision to appoint G.A. “Tony” King as the new boss of Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T).
Neal & Massy, has a 20 per cent share holding in BS&T and King has been Neal & Massy’s most senior management personnel in Barbados in recent years.
Last year, BS&T sold just over half of its 20 per cent share interest in Neal & Massy netting the company a massive $73.9 million. However, since that sale there have been consistent reports that the move left BS&T vulnerable to a possible takeover from the Trinidadian company.
Speaking to BUSINESS AUTHORITY over the weekend, Dulal-Whiteway said emphatically that King “got appointed fair and square”.
“He basically got the job in his own right and it was not influenced by Neal & Massy, even though we are a major shareholder in BS&T,” he explained.
The top Trinidadian executive disclosed that he was a member of the Governance Committee that interviewed the short-listed candidates for the job which will be vacated by independent senator Allan Fields at the end of September. However, Dulal-Whiteway said he deliberately absented himself from King’s interview to avoid influencing the decision.
“The independent members of the committee felt that King was the best man and that he was worthy of the job. He is a loyal man and his loyalties will be to BS&T,” said Dulal-Whiteway.
Furthermore, he disclosed that King will resign from all positions that he holds with Neal & Massy.
In response to questions about the transparency of the appointment for the post which was never advertised, Dulal-Whiteway stressed that top executives seldom respond to advertisement for such posts.
He said a number of Barbadians had been approached about the job at the island’s most influential private enterprise and they turned down the request.
“In the Caribbean there is a shortage of top executives and top companies would hardly put out an ad for chief executive officer. Good people who are in senior positions don’t respond to ads because they believe word would get back to their employers.
Questions will always be raised no matter how you do it but this is how it is done in many countries,” he stated.
On the question of a possible move by Neal & Massy to increase its shareholding in BS&T, Dulal-Whiteway told BUSINESS AUTHORITY his company has not made any attempts to purchase more shares and that it continues to work with the Barbadian conglomerate to grow its business.
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