Donna Harding-Lee Appointed BOB Chairperson
30 Mar 2022
Bank of The Bahamas Limited (“the Bank”) is once again breaking barriers with the first-time appointment of a woman to head its Board of Directors. Effective March 18, 2022, Donna Harding-Lee, attorney-at-law became Chairperson of the Bank's new Board of Directors, with approval of the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
A senior attorney, Mrs. Harding-Lee was called to The Bahamas Bar in 1982 and joined the firm of Cash Fountain & Co., where she remained for 14 years until founding her own law offices, Harding-Lee & Co. in 1996. Mrs. Harding-Lee has served as a director on several boards including an insurance/financial institution, and the Bank. She has also served as a member of the Industrial Relations Board of The Bahamas and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and has held various positions within the Bahamas Bar Association, including membership on the Disciplinary Tribunal.
While two women, Pauline Allen-Dean and Renee Davis, have previously served as the Bank’s Managing Director and Acting Managing Director respectively, this is the first time in the bank's 34-year history that a woman has been appointed to lead its governing body.
Of this historic appointment, Mrs. Harding-Lee said, “I am doubly honoured to be appointed as Chairperson to the Board of Bank of The Bahamas Limited and the first female to occupy that position. The Bank has so much potential, and I look forward to it becoming the premier banking institution in The Bahamas.”
Managing Director Kendrick Brathwaite noted that three of the Bank’s Chief Officers are also women and the Bank’s staff is predominantly female.
"Women have always made significant contributions to the success of the Bank. They have done so at the highest levels, and we welcome and congratulate Mrs. Harding-Lee and look forward to benefitting from her experience and guidance as well as that of other members of our new board,” Mr. Brathwaite said.
At the Bank's recent AGM Mr. Brathwaite said the Bank has strengthened its foundation and will have soon completed a full modernization of its delivery channels that will enable it to eventually achieve market leadership as the best and most respected financial enterprise in The Bahamas.
Chief Financial Officer Jihanne Hosmillo-Williams said, despite the economic effects of the pandemic, the Bank remained steadfast in pushing through the challenges and the joint efforts resulted in net income of $3.73 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, and $ 0.5 million for the first 6 months of the current fiscal year. She also said the Bank’s capital ratios remain strong and well above regulatory requirements.
As of December 31, 2021, the Bank’s total assets stood at $924,201,000, with total equity at $158,299,000.
In addition to the first female chairperson, the newly elected BOB board also includes its youngest director to date Taran Mackey, LLB, TEP, Managing Director and CEO of IPG Family Office Limited as well as Howard Thompson Jr., attorney-at-law and entrepreneur, Errol McKinney, President and owner of EM and Associates Labour and Human Resources Consultants, Dywan Rodgers, Partner and attorney-at-law, Meridian Law Chambers and Anastasia Ferguson-Pratt, CPA, MBA, Vice President of Financial Reporting and Control at The Bahamas Telecommunications Limited. Returning board members include Whitney Patton, CPA, minority-shareholder representative Timothy Brown, CPA and President of Bahamian Sea Basket Limited and Mr. Kendrick Brathwaite who serves as Managing Director.
The Board of Directors is responsible for providing guidance to executive management and oversight of the Bank’s operations. The Board, along with management, reviews and measures achievements throughout the year at the Board and committee meetings. The Board also monitors the Bank’s policies and processes to ensure that risk is managed, and the Bank is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations which are consistent with sound banking practices.