Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Senior Vice-President, origination and capital markets, at Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited, Berisford Grey, is considered to be a successful financial guru who has continued to be a leader in the financial sector in Jamaica. Grey has more than 10 years' regional and international capital markets experience and is in charge of leading Scotia Investments' Capital Market Business.
Interestingly, Grey's initial interest while attending Kingston College was fixed on engineering. However, in his final year in sixth form at the North Street-based institution he became interested in the Jamaica Stock Exchange and began delving into current affairs, with more interest towards economics.
"It was an exciting time for me. I ended up paying more attention to it and the information motivated me. I let go of my first choice and started doing economics in sixth form. So by the time I got to university I chose economics," Grey said.
Grey joined Scotia Investments from FirstCaribbean International Bank where he was director, capital markets, Northern Caribbean region. He was instrumental in the building of the bank's regional capital markets business and managed the team that covers Jamaica, The Bahamas, Cayman, British Virgin Islands and Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands.
Over the last six years, he led the execution of various capital markets transactions in several Caribbean jurisdictions totalling just under US$2.0 billion. His experience in the regional market covers a wide cross section of products, including private placements of bonds, acquisition financing, project financing, syndicated loans, subordinated notes, mezzanine loans, and international bond placements.
Happy with career
"I am very happy with the way my career has turned out. Being in investment banking I can use my creative thoughts and the end result is tangible. I can work with a client and the customer feels satisfied and I am satisfied that I was able to help the customer," Grey said.
Grey has also had significant experience in the European capital markets where he worked as an associate director at Fredell and Company Structured Finance in Belgium and originated and executed several securitisation, sale and lease back, acquisition financing, and asset warehousing transactions.
As associate director he led the structuring and arranging of one of the most innovative asset warehousing securitisation vehicles, a multi-compartment mortgage backed securities conduit, according to Securitization Report, a leading industry journal. He was also involved in the raising of private equity for new ventures.
"Securitisation gave me a lot of international experience in structuring and arranging complex transactions in a high-pressured environment," Grey said.
Grey, who likes to play and watch football, believes there is always a solution to whatever problem there is, and said this philosophy has helped him to pursue his dreams relentlessly. He said persons should try and seize opportunities that will ultimately prepare them to become successful.
Behind the scenes
"Many people see the end result but they do not know what happens behind the scenes. There have been many ups and down and many of my achievements have been over a long period of time. I go after a particular goal, and in pursuit of achieving it I take incremental steps," Grey said.
Grey holds an MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance from Vlerick Leuven Management School, Belgium, and an MSc Economics from the University of the West Indies. He has also completed executive leadership programme at the prestigious Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania, United States of America.
"I never give up. You have to be deliberate even when it seems things are impossible and find a way to make it happen. Persons have to set goals for themselves and build character. This will help to build self-confidence when you are pursuing your dreams," Grey said.