Clarke to reveal booted FSC head’s exit package
Former Executive Director, Financial Services Commission  (FSC), Everton McFarlane. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Finance Minister Nigel Clarke hinted Monday that he will tell the country, maybe as early as today, details of the separation package that will be received by former Financial Services Commission executive director, Everton McFarlane.

According to the minister, McFarlane’s three-year tenure would have ended in July, but last week he asked him to resign to “make way” for the “new direction” in which the FSC would be heading.

READ: FSC boss resigns

“Without hesitation, he concurred and agreed to provide his resignation with terms of his exit,” Clarke said on Monday, choosing his words with great care and apparently referring to his notes before him.

“So as not to distract from the substance of today, I plan later this week to disclose the terms of his exit – possibly by tomorrow—which is closely to what he’s contractually entitled, given the circumstances of his exit,” the minister added.

It appears McFarlane’s goodbye may be a costly one.

“Executive directors of the FSC earn large amounts, certainly compared to ministers of government, and he’s on a fixed term contract and there are contractual obligations for terminations that fall outside of the termination options available to us with the speed with which we needed this vacancy to be created,” Clarke said with a pained chuckle as he referenced the outgoing FSC head’s salary.

McFarlane was the first FSC casualty as the extent of alleged multibillion-dollar fraud at investment firm Stocks & Securities Limited began to unfold last week. His resignation was announced on January 19, one day after he presided over a media briefing to address the FSC’s historical handling of reported shortcomings at SSL.

The only trace of his now-removed bio on the FSC website are the few words that show up with a Google search, “Mr McFarlane leads the Executive Management Team in executing the FSC's mandate to deliver a balanced, consistent and effective regulatory programme that will…”

When the link is clicked to read the full entry, there is an error message that the file being sourced was not found.

McFarlane has been replaced by Major Kerron Burrell, chief prudential officer at the Bank of Jamaica. According to Clarke, four other FSC board members “volunteered to provide the vacancies” that paved the way for him to infuse fresh blood into the institution to make the changes needed.

These include BOJ Governor Richard Byles, who now chairs the FSC board and three other BOJ heavyweights: Senior Deputy Governor, Wayne Robinson, along with Deputy Governors, Jide Lewis, and E George Roper.

READ: New path for FSC

They will be joined by another person whose name Clarke on Monday kept close to his chest, saying he was “not yet prepared” to provide.

Four members of the old FSC board have been retained, a move Clarke said is necessary to ensure it has the tools to function effectively.

“I do not believe in the complete turnover of boards, as institutional memory is lost. Furthermore, that practice no longer accords with existing regulation,” the minister said during the media briefing to outline policy direction for the financial sector in the wake of the largest reported fraud Jamaica has ever seen,”

“As such, the board of commissioners who remain are Mr Erwin Burton, former deputy CEO of GraceKennedy; Mr Dennis Brown, retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Ms Kenisha Davis, attorney-at-law; and Mrs Hillary Robertson, senior director at the BOJ on secondment to the ministry of finance and an advisor to my office.”

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