Improving Risk Management in Financial Institutions in the Caribbean

In the current climate in Jamaica, the involuntary exchange of bonds to lower yielding instruments caught the Jamaican financial sector and other stakeholders unprepared. This is clear evidence of the inadequacies in regulatory oversight and risk management discipline, both at the level of the financial institutions themselves and the local regulatory authorities.

Increasingly complex local and global business environments and financial products present significant managerial challenges for financial and other institutions in the Caribbean. To cope, such institutions must acquire a deeper understanding of the art, science and practice of risk management and create a cadre of highly trained and effective leaders and professionals, capable of employing sophisticated tools of risk valuation and risk management. Institutions must support this capability with good corporate governance and ethics.

As a contribution to the search for answers to these challenges, the Mona School of Business hosted an historic conference, MSB Roundtable 2010, Managing Risk for Growth & Development in March in Kingston, Jamaica. The event created an opportunity for over 80 professionals, including corporate executives of financial and other institutions and government officials to share knowledge and advance the critical agenda to improve the skills and techniques of risk management. The forum explored the theme that prudent risk management and effective regulatory oversight, contributes to higher and more sustainable national growth rates. Some of the insights from the roundtable are reflected in this paper.

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