CEO’s Message – Quarterly Newsletter 28
In my very first ‘CEO’s Message’ in the 17th edition of this publication, I referred to my excitement to be at the helm of the Trinidad and Tobago IFC and committed to accepting the mantle given to me by the Board. In this edition, as my service at the T&T IFC comes to a close, I reflect on that sentiment, and I feel just as excited and committed now, as I did then, to the inspiring vision defined by the T&T IFC for T&T’s Financial Services sector.
The Last Few Years
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work with a dedicated team that faced and overcame challenges with smiles on their faces and passion in their hearts, while implementing critical national projects that have resulted in the creation of sustainable employment, foreign direct investment and the advancement of T&T as a FinTech-enabled financial services sector.
During my tenure, the T&T IFC maintained its commitment to continuously report to our stakeholders on the positive outcomes of our activities. Every quarter, this digest provided a snapshot of the key successes and insights into our work. You followed us as we built on the efforts of the past, and many of you provided constant support and positive feedback, which went a long way in keeping us motivated and pushing ahead.
In the last few editions, I shared how the Company redefined itself, with a focus on areas of FinTech integration, financial inclusion, data analytics and targeted outreach activities. The T&T IFC reconciled that we are truly meant to be a ‘resourceful ally’ in all its meanings, and function in a role that is unique to Trinidad and Tobago, as no other Caribbean location has an agency quite like us.
We are proud of the sustained top-of-mind awareness created to prospect potential investors in the Finance & Accounting Business Process Outsourcing (F&A BPO) sector; additional training of our talent; and the continued expansion of Evolve Mortgage Services.
As I reviewed my experiences with the Company, I am mindful of the trepidations still held by some who are wary of the oncoming technological convergence and the changes needed to give effect to this tidal wave. However, as we continue to engage stakeholders both in the public and private sector, I remain optimistic that government, business and citizens are ready to embrace the changes and challenges ahead. Our committed team strives for excellence and to be a model for the public sector, and together with their counterparts in other public sector enterprises who have embraced changes, will always aspire and indeed, achieve.
The Last Quarter
During the last quarter, the T&T IFC had the opportunity to produce a report on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This topic has increasingly come to the fore as new payment technologies such as CBDCs are reshaping economic activity, shrinking the role of cash, and are providing the impetus for a cashless future. As such, the T&T IFC researched the area to gain greater insight and understanding, and in turn offer a deeper understanding to stakeholders. I invite you to view a summary of this report on the T&T IFC’s website.
In March, the T&T IFC participated in the TECH AML 2021 Virtual Conference, one of the leading conferences for Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter-Terrorism Financing and Compliance professionals in the region. Presenting at this conference on the topic ‘Creating a FinTech Enabled Ecosystem’ and engaging with professionals in such a space allowed us to keep our “ears to the ground” and provided a broader perspective on the challenges and opportunities available in the markets locally and globally.
I would also like to offer my congratulations to FinTechTT who not only celebrated their one-year anniversary in February but also held their first Annual General Meeting in March 2021. Congratulations to the new Board of Directors and I look forward to seeing the Association grow and positively impact the local ecosystem.
Looking To The Future
When I look to the future, I see many opportunities for the T&T IFC and look forward to cheering on the Company’s work. With the ongoing support of stakeholders like you, the T&T IFC will continue to facilitate the building of a solid infrastructure and the development of agile, dynamic expertise in the financial services sector; a sector that continues to play an increasingly profound role in the diversification of the national economy.
As I say goodbye to Level 15, Tower D, I take with me fond memories and a feeling of accomplishment that is very humbling as all we have done is in the service of the nation and for the benefit of our people. I express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Finance, our line Minister and the Board for their trust and guidance over the years and the T&T IFC team – past and present – for making the journey enjoyable and memorable. In you, the T&T IFC’s work continues, and its future will be borne out.
Enjoy the Quarterly and I look forward to reading those to come.