Byles is the 25th Hall of Famer

Richard Byles inducted to the PSOJ's Hall of Fame

Business editor

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Richard Byles, chairman of Sagicor Group Jamaica and of Red Stripe, was inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's (PSOJ) Hall of Fame on Monday, in a glitzy affair attended by some 500 guests at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Byles, who was recognised for his contribution to insurance, finance, trade, philanthropy, tourism and youth development, came in for some signifiant praise from PSOJ President P B Scott.

“Richard is a man of integrity. I know from my own personal dealings with him that he does what is right. His moral compass is strong. Literally, he is someone you could trust your pension with,” Scott said, adding Byles is a “very smart person”.

In 2016 Sagicor Jamaica increased its return on equity by 20 per cent and $11 billion in profit, a performance that was “simply phenomenal” Scott said.

Byles is the 25th person to be inducted to the prestigious PSOJ Hall of Fame. The honour goes to business leaders who have dedicated their lives to the development and advancement of the private sector and Jamaica.

“Richard, you are an inspiration to all Jamaicans,” Scott said. “As a nation we have a lot to thank Richard for,” he added.

The Economic Programme Oversight Committeed (EPOC), which Byles co-chaired from its inception with Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter, was a prime example. “We can all agree that Jamaica is on a better path today, and we thank him,” Scott said.

Praise also came from Byles' wife Jacinth who said, “Congratulations, Richard, on receiving this honour. I love you very, very much.”

Byles himself noted that he was standing on the shoulders of giants such as Maurice Facey, Rita Humphries, and Danny Williams.

“It is my family that inspires the extraordinary in me,” Byles said.

Noting that he was now a man of 66, he thanked his parents for their support, even with “my youthful exuberance in politics”.

But one of his proudest moments was bringing back, from the United States production of Red Stripe for that market.

On his three years of co-chairing EPOC, Byles said “from the beginning I was convinced Jamaica could make it”. He praised Mark Golding and Peter Phillips saying, “Jamaica owes all of you” for making Jamaica “a poster child of the IMF”.

“I am optmistic about Jamaica's future” Byles said, noting the importance of continued, strong oversight – with the IMF deal ending in two years.

Several previous winners attended the function, including Danny Williams, Oliver Clarke, William McConnell, Dennis Lalor, Charles Johnston, Glen Christian, and last year's inductee, Gary “Butch” Hendrickson.




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