For several decades it has been perceived that any company serious about business in Jamaica must have a physical structure in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Mandeville to effectively corner the business market.
And financial pundits have concluded that that the potential in Manchester is quite vast, and it might be for that reason why the larger entities have always and continued to tap into that marketplace. It was out of such vision that the 90-year-old GraceKennedy Group decided to establish First Global Bank (FGB) and First Global Financial Services (FGFS) in Mandeville to better serve the people of sections of western and central Jamaica.
"Mandeville represents two main things. Geographically, it is crucial. Its central location allows us to effectively serve Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth. Second, the clientele is an incredible mix of locals, returning residents, retirees and business people who have a range of business needs and are based in Mandeville," observed Robert Drummond, president of FGFS, recently.
Emphasising the excellent climate enjoyed in Mandeville, combined with the people's lifestyles, Drummond said it was a certainty that FGB and FGFS had to have a presence there.
"We know there are clients with funds to invest in various types of products and who wish for their investments to be properly managed and we regard ourselves amongst the best, if not the preferred financial institution to provide our clients with the best investment portfolios in the market," he said.
Drummond admitted: "You can't be serious about investments without being in Mandeville. You have just got to have a physical presence there, it's compulsory," he reiterated in an interview with The Gleaner.
Mandeville, the capital of Manchester, has enjoyed unspoiled financial success for decades, and has equally been a sought-after place for returning residents, retirees and some younger people.
In recent years, Manchester provided hundreds of jobs in the bauxite industry; while the quality of its ginger is rated as the world's best.