Mon | Dec 11, 2023

‘Titan of Jamaican business’ inducted into PSOJ Hall of Fame 

Published:Thursday | October 20, 2022 | 10:30 PM
Jean-Philippe Beyer, managing director of J. Wray & Nephew, addresses the audience as Jamaican billionaire businessman Michael Lee-Chin was gifted a special-edition US$15,000 bottle of Appleton Estate rum as he was inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Hall of Fame at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew this evening. – Rudolph Brown Photo

Jamaican billionaire businessman Michael Lee-Chin wore a wide smile as he accepted a citation, officially inducting him into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Hall of Fame.

In a glitzy banquet held at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew this evening, family, government officials, dignitaries and members of the business community turned out to celebrate the brilliant, charismatic and inimitable Lee-Chin. 

The 71-year-old is the chairman of NCB Financial Group and Portland Holdings as well as the chair of Jamaica's Economic Growth Council since 2016. 

“Even though the best may still be yet to come, Michael has already indelibly changed the landscape around him. His lasting legacy was undoubtedly shaped by the values instilled and the lessons learned from the land of his birth. He continues to lead by being a living example of his own words: 'Our behaviour today will be our history tomorrow. Make sure it's well written',” the citation read in part. 

In the citation where Lee-Chin is referred to as a “titan of Jamaican business”, the PSOJ noted that from his humble roots, he grew to become one of the most successful businessmen in Jamaica and Canada.

“His passion for serving clients and making them wealthy led him to codify the five laws of wealth creation which has guided him ever since,” it said. 

Since his acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in National Commercial Bank (NCB) 20 years ago, NCB has grown from strength to strength, first becoming the largest and most profitable financial institution in Jamaica and then becoming one of the leading financial institutions in the English-speaking Caribbean. 

In his response, the 28th distinguished inductee said he is humbled by the honour which has caused him to reflect on where he has come from and the way forward. 

Lee-Chin said three things have accounted for his successes – being born in Jamaica which made him a confident being; being born to the late Hyacinth Gloria Chen who held high standards and led an exemplary life; and being born in an era where he could be educated. 

The inductee was hailed as an “entrepreneurial visionary” and a “truly fabulous Jamaican” by PSOJ president Keith Duncan. 

Duncan said Lee-Chin has blazed the trail for Jamaicans and he is confident that with his “nuclear powered mind”, he will continue to make the country proud. 

Chairman of the NCB Foundation, Thalia Lyn, described Lee-Chin as one who is passionate about doing good. 

“Michael, you know how much this means to your mom and every accolade you think of her. Today I want to say she's looking down and smiling and saying 'You did it again, son!'. This is so well deserved,” Lyn said. 

Lee-Chin joins a list of PSOJ inductees that include 2019 recipient, founder and CEO of Island Grill, Thalia Lyn; 2018 recipient ICD Group Chairman, Joseph Matalon; and 2017 recipient, the former Sagicor Group Chairman and Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Richard Byles.

In 2008, Lee-Chin was conferred with the Order of Jamaica for his significant contributions to business and philanthropy.

He was also appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest civilian order, which recognises individuals whose exceptional achievements have left a lasting legacy in the province in Canada.

The businessman also sits on various boards in Canada, Germany and throughout the Caribbean. 

- Judana Murphy

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