Photo: Mike Toy - Arawidi, Moonshine Ridge, Apes Hill.
I am the President of Cidel Bank & Trust Inc. which is the largest privately owned wealth management firm in Barbados with over USD 8 Billion in assets under management and a staff complement of 65. Cidel is an international financial services group that designs and implements customized financial solutions to help clients build, preserve and transfer wealth. With a strategic network of operations in Canada and internationally, Cidel’s broad range of investment and structuring capabilities provide clients with solutions that are global and innovative. In the world of private banking, Cidel is recognized as a dedicated, high calibre advisor with exceptional, longstanding relationships.
In addition to overall responsibility for the Barbados operations of our group companies, I am a member of the Investment Committee, hold several directorships for IBCs and lead our Barbados Captive investment management programme.
How does this contribute to Barbados’ competitiveness
Ryle Weekes: Our clients are successful, savvy individuals seeking the very best service providers to optimize their financial affairs. A growing number of firms in established and emerging financial centers in the region and internationally compete aggressively for their business. Cidel must be innovative, compliant, sophisticated and nimble to survive in this arena. We develop not only the best operational systems, financial solutions, service models and technological platforms but also foster the growth of our highly skilled, professional, local staff. Furthermore, we actively engage with professional associations and Government agencies to share market intelligence and recommend legislative and regulatory changes to improve the business environment for both international and local businesses. The enhancement of Barbados’ business facilitation, human capital, business operations and regulations are of tremendous importance to the jurisdiction’s competitiveness as well as its economic and social development.
What’s your vision for Barbados?
Ryle Weekes: Barbados has the potential to be the leading financial services and wealth management centre in the region. With the necessary improvements to legislation, regulation, product range, marketing and service, the jurisdiction can build upon its already established framework and sound reputation to be a leader and a considerable competitor internationally. The realization of this aspiration would complement the contribution from the other economic pillars of the country to achieve sustainable economic prosperity.
What are your skills and qualifications?
Ryle Weeks: I am a Chartered Financial Analyst and hold a First Class Honours Degree in Economics and Accounting from the University of the West Indies. I have also benefitted over the years from professional training in various areas including strategic management, executive communication, anti-money laundering and customer service.
What contributed to your success?
Ryle Weekes: Three main factors contributed to my achievements so far; education, personal commitment and support. The academic training I received at Harrison College and The University of the West Indies was excellent and prepared me adequately for the career in finance I chose to pursue. Many personal sacrifices and tough decisions have to be made to advance in any dynamic working environment, so I stayed focused on my goal, endured the difficult challenges and worked the long hours required to learn and keep moving forward. I also benefitted tremendously from the support and encouragement of friends and family, co-workers, bosses and more experienced industry professionals.