Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Humphries-Lewin not excited about retiring

Published:Friday | October 30, 2015 | 10:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Rita Humphries-Lewin.

Believe it or not, Rita Humphries-Lewin was 41 when she started Barita Investment Limited in 1977.

But the astute businesswoman was in the investment world from the start of the Stock Exchange in the 1960s. Today she is still integrally involved in Barita as the largest shareholder.

"Retirement does not fascinate me," she said, so, at 79, she still keeps herself busy.

"However, what I have done is to reduce my working hours, and I have very capable people who are doing all the hard work. I am just a backup at the office now."

Humphries-Lewin said she has already dealt with succession planning by listing the company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

"In the event of my death, the company will still continue to be operating, and those family members who are beneficiaries can then sell their shares if they so wish," she said.

"I have learnt that families do not necessarily work very well with each other, so I have

provided an avenue for selling, and if outsiders wish to buy the company, they can make an offer to purchase it."

Barita is easily one of Jamaica's most successful and popular companies, and Humphries-Lewin believes the formula for success is the motto, 'The client's money is not yours to play with'.

"And, therefore, we do not take risks, unless it is with the company's money," she said.

"Also, our clients know we are not reckless, and we would rather make less profits, but a safe environment for them. We also have some very loyal staff members, who we can call 'family'. The formula for me still 'standing' is my love of playing games and exercising, with a rigid diet during the week and then splurge on weekends." As for retirement?

"Retirement is too boring but, if I have to, I will one day retire."