Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Sharp bows out at Scotiabank

Published:Wednesday | September 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
Jacqueline Sharp, president and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited, will leave the bank of October 31.
Deputy CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica, David Noel, will take over as CEO at the start of November.
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David Noel will take over as president and chief executive officer of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited immediately as Jacqueline Sharp steps down from the position on October 31.

Noel's promotion comes nearly a year after he was named her deputy back in November 2016. He will also be named head of the Caribbean Central and North division.

Sharp was said to be in meetings when Gleaner Business reached out for comment on her departure. The bank said she was leaving to enter her family's business.

She is leaving Scotia just over a year after she was given the job as head of the expanded Caribbean division by Scotiabank Canada and after an 18-month revamping of the leadership in the local banking group, Jamaica's second largest commercial banking outfit with assets topping $490 billion.

Sharp began running the bank in September 2013, but while profit has been steady at Scotia at around $10 billion to $11 billion, large rival National Commercial Bank Jamaica has been setting new earnings records within the same period.

At its third quarter ending June 2017, NCB reported $14.7 billion of profit, a figure that already eclipses its record $14.4 billion in annual profit for all of 2016. Scotia Group's third quarter results are pending, but at half year its net profit amounted to $5.7 billion.

The upshot is that while NCB is now making nearly $5 billion per quarter, Scotia Group is so far delivering half that at $2.8 billion per quarter.

Sharp joined Scotiabank in 1997 as a management trainee and was promoted up the ranks over the years before taking over as country head. Her regional promotion happened in May 2016.

In and around that period, she has been overseeing a series of management changes, one of the most significant of which was strategist Dr Adrian Stokes, who was named president of the group's insurance arm earlier this year, which brought immediate speculation on whether he was in line for a future promotion to Scotia Group CEO.

More recently, Scotia also snagged one of NCB's most talented stars, Audrey Tugwell-Henry, who returned to the bank as executive vice president for retail banking on Monday, September 4.

Sharp's appointment as Scotia Group was heralded as history-making. She was not the first woman appointed to head a country operation in Scotiabank's regional ecosystem - she came behind appointees like Minna Israel who once headed up the Bahamas and Anya Schnoor who currently manages Trinidad, both of whom are Jamaicans - but was the first female to manage the 128-year-old Jamaica banking group.

"Jackie has made significant contributions to Scotiabank and the community over the years, achieving strong financial results while becoming one of the most respected leaders in the financial sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean," said Brendan King Senior Vice President, International Banking, Scotiabank Canada, in a company statement.

Scotia Group chairman Jeffrey Hall said Noel would accelerate strategic initiatives including enhancements towards the goal of becoming "a digital banking leader in Jamaica".

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com