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Career - Dave Martin's billion-dollar skills

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Dave Martin, head of RBTT Bank's treasury department, lists his competencies as including a wide range of skills within the field of finance and investments management.

Having held this position at RBTT for three years, he believes that he has successfully met the targets set for him by his employers, who have some $60 billion in assets. The bank is the third-largest in Jamaica.

Martin came to the job with 17 years of experience, more than enough to qualify him for the post.

A typical day for the manager includes reviews of market-risk exposure management, including interest rate, foreign exchange and portfolio risk management, he said.

Within the investment portfolio at the bank which he oversees, he must also regulate money market, foreign exchange and equity trading; interpret financial reports and take decisions, based on the assessment of data; and translate financial and capital-market data into concise and relevant commercial reports.

At RBTT, he has also been given the mandate of strategic planning as treasury manager. This includes "identifying innovative strategies and solutions to satisfy the customer and optimise performance".

Martin also assists the RBTT investment committee in formulating and implementing company strategies and advises on potential implications, keeping abreast of developments and trends in the capital market and recommending appropriate strategies.

Management duties

His management duties cover reorganising departments and systems to improve efficiency of working practices and assigning clear areas of responsibility, as well as delegating and prioritising these appropriately.

The official has been head of treasury and assistant general manager at RBTT bank since 2007, with direct responsibilities for the bank's treasury and investment portfolio.

His previous work experience more than adequately prepared him for his current role.

Martin was employed before as general manager of Myers Fletcher & Gordon (MF&G) Asset Management Limited and portfolio manager of MF&G Trust and Finance.

He has also worked as investment manager with Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank, and manager of treasury and investment services with Portfolio Partners Limited.

The treasury manager lists among his past achievements the merger of equity funds to gain greater efficiency and returns to clients; the development and implementation of a money-market fund allowing the company involved to reduce its dependability on equity-based portfolios and balanced its revenue base.

He has also implemented a fund-based management system, allowing the company to achieve the objective of providing individual portfolio management (for more than 400 clients) in a more efficient manner and to improve money-market spread.

At one company in which he was previously employed, Martin increased funds under management from $1.4 million to $51.5 million in one year. He also moved the client base from five to 150 in addition to developing and improving the quality of the research department.

Working as an economist in his early years, Martin also contributed to developing an economic-demographic model for Jamaica and also developed a national social accounting matrix.

Enjoying his job

While the senior manager would not say what direction his career will take next, he admitted to enjoying the daily challenges involved in overseeing the bank's treasury functions.

For those wishing to follow in his footsteps, his working experience and educational background should prove instructive.

Dave Martin holds a postgraduate diploma in business administration from the University of Wales and Manchester Business School (UK, 2003) and a Bachelor of Science in economics and management from the University of the West Indies (1987).

His training also includes such courses as treasury products, valuation strategies and techniques, Canadian investment management, a Canadian securities course, econometrics, health economics and social sector models.

His 'A' Level passes were in economics, mathematics and geography. He attended Mannings High School, leaving that institution in 1984.

The treasury manager is highly goal-oriented and notes that all aspects of the job - investment, planning and management - must be reviewed and acted on every day.

At the end of each year, it is the cumulative result of such daily planning and action which will determine to what degree his goals - as set in his contract with RBTT - are met.