Lessons from a pro escaping an economic meltdown with dollars and sense

Most Jamaicans could use some advice on how to survive the effects of the financial crisis sweeping the globe. And who better to give that advice than the people behind one of Jamaica’s most successful commercial entities.

Fifteen years ago, the financial sector was on the brink of collapse. A mere two years later, banks would begin to close, people would start losing their jobs and confidence in the banking system would plummet to an all-time low. But although conditions were ripe for a meltdown, a group of businessmen pooled their funds and put Ryland T. Campbell in charge of running a bank.

Today, Capital & Credit Merchant Bank is a remarkable story of an indigenous Jamaican merchant bank that has accomplished a long résumé of success. The success and development of the group has mirrored that of the life of its chairman, Ryland Campbell, a modest beginning followed by tireless work and dedication, a commitment to delivering excellence, and a depth of character that is recognised not only in the industry, but the wider society and the Caribbean region.

Not possible?

Campbell has done what others thought was not possible. He started a merchant bank in one of the most unpredictable periods in the nation’s history and succeeded beyond most people’s expectation.

So, how did Campbell and the Capital & Credit team turn $30 million into a financial conglomerate worth billions inside of 15 years?

The Gleaner sat down with the farm boy from Westmoreland turned-banking mogul and asked him to take us back to the beginning.

“There was a group of us that felt that we local boys and girls needed to be engaged in the financial sector. I had many years of experience in it working in the commercial banking system and there was a bank that was available that was put in receivership by the Bank of Jamaica. That was the spark that lit the furnace of possibilities.”

Today, Capital & Credit Merchant Bank is part of the Capital & Credit Financial Group of companies, which has an asset base of US$80 million-$100 million (J$7 billion-J$8.8 billion).

“Interestingly, when we started out there were really two companies and now there are about seven companies, including a company operating in Florida as a broker dealer which is called, in Jamaica, an investment bank. So we have gone many places since the lonely, lowly days of 1994.”

Article by Stacy-Ann Smith, Gleaner Writer

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2 Responses to “Lessons from a pro escaping an economic meltdown with dollars and sense”


    Interesting story!! I guess in every crisis, there are indeed opportunities!!

  2. Ommugabe says:

    The ‘micro’ business loans being made available by the government to high school graduates, is finally an excellent govemental effort to help eliminate poverty.

    Every last high school, college and University graduate should have intensive training in entrepreneurship as part of the curriculum.

    Mis-educating Jamaicans for the slave labor force is an ignorant and evil effort to continue the worse practices of the enslavement — training slaves as cheap labor for massa!

    If every high school, college and University graduate is primed to ‘start a ting’, start a business, then the price of Ja labor would have to go up; because more Jamaicans will either have their own business, or would have to be better compensated as a partners in a business.

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admin Posted by: admin May 5, 2009 at 8:28 am