BARITA Investments Limited has been rated as one of the top-performing companies on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), following the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s (PSOJ) performance review of companies listed on the junior and main markets.
The review looked at companies which conform to the principles of corporate governance best practices, as outlined by the Corporate Governance Index (CGI).
According to chairman of Barita Investments Mark Myers, the review conducted by the JSE through an independent body, the Corporate Governance Index Review Committee, further cements Barita’s reliability, efficiency and transparency as one of the island’s leading brokerage firms.
“This is a result of the last three years of resolute and collaborative work at the board level, which has been cascaded down to the management and staff at the company,” said Myers.
“It is reflective of our deep, uncompromising commitment to the highest standards of governance which involves the progressive establishment of robust structures, policies, procedures, and disclosure requirements. These are bedrock principles to ensuring the protection of our customers while sustainably delivering superior results over the long term to all stakeholders, including our staff, shareholders and regulators,” added Myers.
The CGI scores are published annually and since 2019, Barita’s performance scores have shown significant improvement. The company’s CGI score of 59.40 in 2019, has increased to 80.42 per cent, resulting in the company receiving a grade ‘A’ in the recent review.
“We are unrelenting in our pursuit of global best practice standards across our business. Notwithstanding our recent exemplary CGI score, we have a little more work to do to secure the highest possible scores in the different areas of the independent review, and so we will keep our heads down and continue to work towards further strengthening our governance infrastructure and practices”, declared Myers.
In the meantime, deputy chairman of Barita Paul Simpson explained, “Under the leadership of Michael Hytlon, Barita’s newest board director and chairman of the board’s governance committee, together with Malindo Wallace, the company’s group legal counsel and company secretary, the brokerage firm was able to effectively transform its governance structure and functions.
Simpson pointed out that in addition to governance, risk management and compliance have been two critical areas that the boards of Barita and the group have strengthened and transformed since the acquisition of the business by Cornerstone three years ago.
“We have established a comprehensive enterprise risk management framework that guides all key areas of our business operations to include strategic planning, on-book and off-book revenue-generating activities, operations management, internal controls, and inorganic related business expansion,” said Simpson.
He noted that with uncertainties in financial markets globally owing to inflation and recession-related fears, security dealers require strong prudential capital buffers.
“A key tenet of our risk-management framework is ensuring that we attain and sustain robust capital adequacy which is one of the single most important indicators of our ability to withstand negative shocks and safeguard the interests of our stakeholders,” added Simpson.
Barita has claimed that it is one of the safest and most trusted firms with an industry-leading capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio of 52.4 per cent as at December 2021, which is well above the Financial Services Commission’s minimum requirement of 10 per cent.
Scotia Investments and Mayberry round out the top three as the second and third leading securities firms, respectively, from a capital adequacy perspective based on published financial data.