Marcus James is the founder and chief executive officer of Access Financial Services Limited, one of the leading microfinance institutions in the Caribbean, and the first company to list on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
With a background in banking and finance and an entrepreneurial desire, James started Access in 2000.
Under his leadership, Access has grown exponentially with over J$5 billion in loans disbursed to the micro-finance sector. In addition to solid financial performance under James' leadership, Access has received regional industry awards. In 2011, Access was the recipient of the CARIB-CAP Good Practice Incentive Award in recognition of outstanding performance in capacity building, and, most recently, the 2012 Citi Award for Excellence in Microfinance for the Caribbean. In 2006, Marcus received the Jamaica Employers' Federation Young Entrepreneurs Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Enterprise and Business Development. He was also named the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year and received the Young Entrepreneurs' Association Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.
James' journey to Access took him through the banking sector. In 1994, he joined Corporate Merchant Bank as a credit officer and in 1997, assumed the position of officer in charge of merchant banking. A brief stint in a family-owned business as operations manager followed in 1998. This gave him hands-on experience and valuable insights in entrepreneurship and management which he would later employ at Access. James credits his parents for instilling the importance of hard work, integrity and dedication as the key tools to success.
As one who sees tennis as a sport which fosters discipline, commitment and focus, this avid tennis fan still finds time to indulge as a player and supports the development of youth tennis through the sponsorship of competitions and programmes organised by Tennis Jamaica.