Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Richard Byles named 2017 UWI Pelican awardee

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:15 PM

Chairman of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Richard Byles has been selected by The University of the West Indies Alumni Association Jamaica Chapter for the Pelican Award for 2017.

Byles joins an illustrious cohort of distinguished graduates who have been recognized by the Alumni Association for their contribution to their specific spheres of work and the society at large, the Association said in a release.

The Pelican Award will be presented by the Chancellor at a ceremony on Wednesday, November 1 at the UWI Regional Headquarters at Mona, St. Andrew.

The Pelican Award is presented to a graduate of The University of the West Indies who has excelled in his or her chosen field or an individual who has contributed significantly to the development of the University or has made an outstanding contribution to Jamaica, the Caribbean or the world at large.

The awardee is selected from among nominees submitted by members of the Alumni chapter.

Under Byles’ leadership as President and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica between 2004 and 2016, the company has grown through a series of acquisitions, including Pan Caribbean Investments Limited and First Life Insurance Company Limited, the Blue Cross Jamaica health insurance portfolio, and the banking operations of RBC Jamaica.  During this period profits increased from $1.2 billion to $11.3 billion as at 2016.

Prior to his tenure at Sagicor Group, Byles was President and CEO of Pan Jam Investment Limited.  In his 13 years at Pan Jam, he directed that group through a number of mergers, acquisitions, and divestments and has been credited with establishing that company as one of Jamaica’s premier listed enterprises.

Byles is also Chairman of Sagicor Bank Jamaica and Sagicor Real Estate X-Fund, a listed company which owns the Jewel Hotel chain and Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Jamaica, the Doubletree Hotel in Orlando and a large portfolio of prime commercial and office buildings.

He is also Chairman of Red Stripe Jamaica, a Director of Pan Jam and a member of the Council of The University of the West Indies.

Byles is a former co-chairman of Jamaica’s Economic Programme Oversight Committee which has been charged with oversight of the implementation of the International Monetary Fund agreement with Jamaica since 2013.