October 22, 2020

CIBC FirstCaribbean Int’l Bank playing key role in region’s economic growth


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News_Photo_bv.asp.bmpFrom The Barbados Advocate

Prominent banker, Michael Mansoor, described as one of the architects of CIBC First Caribbean, was yesterday bestowed the honour of having the regional headquarters buildings of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank in Warrens carry his name.

In delivering the feature address, Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart described Mansoor, the Executive Chairman of CIBC First Caribbean, as “a true son of the soil of the region”, noting that others referred to him as a true leader, visionary, role model and a gentleman.

The Prime Minister expressed his pleasure in being part of this significant occasion, stating, “The name Michael Mansoor is already synonymous with the achievements of First Caribbean International Bank during its first 10 years of operation in the Caribbean.

“In recent discussions, Dr. Mansoor has expressed his concerns that recovery from this downturn may not bring the large number of jobs that school leavers and graduates in the Caribbean have grown to expect. There is also fear that the economies of the region may not experience the high growth rate of three to four per cent and above, which they have enjoyed in the past.

“What is therefore needed is a profound and positive response to the challenges we face. But, a careful study of First Caribbean strategies during the past ten years hints a possible response to this vexing problem; acibc_first_caribbean_international_bank_san_pedro__18057 commitment to broadening and deepening the entrepreneurial pool to help democratise and grow the economies of the region.”

He added, “I therefore now implore CIBC First Caribbean International Bank to follow through in the spreading of the entrepreneurial culture to all sectors of our societies by leading the charge to facilitate access to capital. Even with appropriate education and training, young entrepreneurs are forced to start businesses which are undercapitalised.

“Let us do all we can to ensure that this magnificent building that carries the name of Michael Kelvin Mansoor becomes this symbol of the entrepreneurial revolution that is waiting to take place in the region hopefully in the last days of this iconoclastic global downturn.”

Mansoor, who will be retiring at the end of the bank’s fiscal year on October 31, humbly but eloquently admitted to being overwhelmed at the honour.

He said, “If I ever did anything useful or beneficial for this institution, it is because I was able to collaborate and work with colleagues within the bank. In an institution as complex and international as the one which honours me, I could accomplish very little by myself. The creation of First Caribbean was a decade ago. Today we have an integrated bank that is well positioned to be inherently successful and serve as an agent of transformation in each of the countries in which we operate. I leave the executive of the bank at a time of challenge and regional adversity but I am confident and comfortable that I leave it in the hands of the best management team in history.” (NB)

PHOTO: (from left) Gerald T. McCaughey, President and CEO of CIBC; Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados; and Michael Mansoor, Executive Chairman at CIBC FirstCaribbean, attentively listening to the proceedings at the Naming Ceremony of the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Headquarters Building last evening.

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