Monday, 2 March 2020

NEWS + NOTES: CEO Makeba Bennett-Easy resigns from PSOJ … First Rock enters the J’ca Stock Exchange … Fontana posts 20% surge in profits

MOVING ON: The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) will be on the hunt for a new CEO, as Makeba Bennett-Easy is stepping down from the post, effective March 25. According to a release from the organization, Bennett-Easy has “expressed satisfaction with her tenure and reiterated her commitment to support her successor” in ensuring a smooth transition. “We will miss her expertise,” says PSOJ president Keith Duncan. “Her contribution has been invaluable to the transformation of the organization to adapt to changing trends and shape [our] current strategy.”

STEPPING UP: Hailed as one of the fastest growing young companies in the English-speaking Caribbean, First Rock Capital Holdings has been officially listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The ceremony took place at the JSE head office in downtown Kingston last Friday. An investment company focused on real estate and private equity (owning several properties in Jamaica, Cayman and the United States), First Rock’s initial public offering (IPO) closed on January 31, following an oversubscribed sale to some 2,500 participants, which raised approximately US$13 million. Overall, First Rock has pulled in more than $5 billion from investments.

CASHING IN: For popular pharmacy operators Fontana Limited, opening their swanky Waterloo Square branch in St. Andrew last October is an investment that is reaping rich dividends. Per The Financial Gleaner, Fontana grew its overall profits by 20% in the quarter ending December 2019, thanks to sprightly activity at the new branch. For the quarter, their coffers raked in $1.4 billion, an increase of 31% when compared to the same period in the previous year. Fontana Waterloo is the sixth store in a growing chain and the largest, boasting 35,000 square feet. The company describes their December quarter performance as the most successful in the 50-plus years they have been in operation.

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