Thu | Aug 24, 2017

George Ashenheim, quiet giant passes

Published:Friday | February 3, 2017 | 2:00 AM
George Ashenheim

A quiet giant whose positive imprint continues to be reflected in companies across Jamaica, which benefitted from his remarkable acumen, talent, and personality, 84-year-old entrepreneur George Ashenheim died at home last Friday. He had been ailing for some time.

Friend and business associate for some 40 years, William 'Billy' McConnell recalled Ashenheim as a man whose long-term vision, talent for strategic planning, and commitment to excellence set the template for success of Jamaican-owned and operated businesses. For all his sterling contribution to development of the local industrial sector in particular, Ashenheim remained a humble and reserved person, who chose to let his work speak for him.

A PRIVATE MAN

"In his professional life and personal life, he was an exceedingly private man. He shunned publicity and believed that what he could cause to happen would be sufficient words and pictures for people to get a sufficient idea of who he was and what he stood for," McConnell shared yesterday.

A patriotic Jamaican who served on various boards, including the Priory School Trust Society and the Jamaica branch of the British Red Cross, as chairman of Caribbean Cement Company Limited, Carreras Jamaica Limited and Lascelles deMercado, it was Ashenheim's accomplishment at the latter that stands out for his former business colleague.

McConnell explained: "I think one has to stop and take stock of the fact that in 2009, the shareholders received an offer for Lascelles deMercado, which put a value on that transaction somewhere in the order of US$800 million. I'm not sure if there have been offers in Jamaica for a Jamaican company that would be equal to that size."