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JMMB, Honey Bun top JSE best practices awards

Published:Thursday | December 7, 2017 | 1:56 PMNeville Graham

Toast of the night at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) best practices awards - the vehicle used to promote corporate governance, growth in the use of technology and corporate social responsibility - were Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) for the main market and Honey Bun for the junior market.  

Companies listed on the JSE were recognized for being best among their peers at the annual awards gala at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Wednesday.

JMMB Group bested the 35 companies on the main market in addition to being the best overall winner as a member dealer through subsidiary JMMB Securities. Honey Bun bettered the 33 companies on the junior market to emerge as overall winner. Both companies figured largely in at least three of the six categories covered by the awards - annual report, best performing company, corporate disclosure and investor relations, website, corporate governance and best overall.

JMMB emerged joint winner with NCB Financial Group for best annual report. They were also joint winners with Scotia Investments in corporate disclosure and investor relations and first runner up in the award for corporate governance. Honey Bun featured in the corporate disclosure and investor relations category, along with corporate governance.

Patricia Adams, President of the Energy Probe Research Foundation and Probe International who spoke at the function, drew on her experience as a former regulator in Canada’s energy sector. She warned that regulators run the risk of losing their relevance and efficacy if their work becomes politicized or is otherwise compromised by pandering to the dictates of those with influence. Adams noted that Jamaica had the unique distinction of being the best run stock exchange in the world in 2015. She said those who participate in the administration and activities of the exchange must guard this status well.

Managing Director of the JSE Marlene Street Forrest urged companies to embrace best practices as a mission-critical aspect of their operations. She says this will benefit both customers and companies as they grow.

“Best practices should be a core mission for all. That is for our broker-dealers, the exchange and our listed companies as this goes in tandem with our efforts to promote confidence, transparency and trust in our market and by extension our economy," Street Forrest said.

She noted that the JSE had missed its September 2016 deadline for the launching of a corporate governance index, noting that the target was missed due to the need for consultation involving listed companies. She did not give a new deadline but said that when launched the index, the first in the Caribbean, will be a better product.