Christopher Williams, PROVEN Management Limited

Christopher Williams

Delivering Consistent Returns

Editors’ Note

Christopher Williams is also responsible for managing the operations of Proven Investments Limited, parent company of PROVEN Wealth Limited. He is a senior executive with over 15 years of experience in merchant banking, asset management and stock brokerage in the Jamaican and Cayman Islands capital markets, with particular expertise in developing and implementing competitive products and services. Williams holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of the West Indies and an M.B.A. in strategic marketing and finance from York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the Chairman of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, President of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association and a Director of the Jamaica College Foundation.

Company Brief

PROVEN Investments Limited (weareproven.com) is the Caribbean’s premier Investment Company, built on the solid reputation of providing investors with safe and consistent returns on their investments. The PROVEN investment philosophy was conceptualized and is executed by one of the most experienced and professional teams in the finance and business sector throughout the region. The company’s main objective is to provide shareholders with consistent returns through a diversified portfolio of regional and international investments. equities, mutual funds and structured products. PROVEN has created additional value and diversification for its shareholders by identifying and securing private equity positions in small and medium sized companies throughout the region which have a strong business model and potential for enhanced levels of growth over the medium term.

Will you discuss the history of PROVEN and how the business has evolved?

PROVEN Investments is a private equity platform and operates like a holding company rather than an operating entity.

The mandate is for its shareholders to identify businesses across the industries in the Caribbean that can deliver consistent and above average rates of return. We target businesses primarily in financial services and real estate and currently own a securities dealer in Jamaica, a microfinance company in Jamaica, a bank in Saint Lucia, and a securities dealer in Cayman.

In real estate, we are primarily focused on residential real estate development in Jamaica, where we are building several apartment complexes for the Jamaica population.

Will you discuss the opportunities you see in the Jamaica market and what you feel the strengths are that Jamaica offers from a business and investment perspective?

The majority of our shareholders and cofounders are Jamaicans, so we have significant ties to Jamaica.

Over the past five or six years, it’s amazing what has happened in Jamaica. We see opportunities in a number of industries, like tourism which has grown substantially over the past two to three years.

In the financial services space, we haven’t historically had significant international capital, but due to the flexibility of the financial markets over the past five years, we have seen a lot of international capital in Jamaica coming through the banking system.

We also see great opportunity in the real estate space – Jamaica is significantly under-housed and as such we see a significant amount of opportunity for real estate housing solutions. This will provide huge construction needs and many opportunities for construction companies to provide services.

It’s a good time to come and do business in Jamaica.

Over the past five or six years, it’s amazing what has happened in Jamaica. We see opportunities in a number of industries, like tourism which has grown substantially over the past two to three years.

How strong is the talent base in Jamaica and does the talent pool have the skills that are needed in a growing economy?

We have been able to easily find the talent we need in the financial services space from the local market. However, we do have challenges, especially in real estate. Over the last 20 years, we haven’t had the depth of skilled labor in real estate that we would want. This is a huge opportunity for the talent market today because the conversion time from non-skilled to skilled is not very long. We see opportunities for individuals to make themselves financially independent by participating in training programs and converting themselves from unskilled to skilled.

There is a program going on right now where we’re working with a number of our individuals to get them to the level we would like to provide opportunities for them in the construction space.

This is a long-term issue and focus. In the financial services space, we are doing well; in the construction and skilled labor spaces, we still have some work to do.