Suzanne Saunders plays lead role in Digicel's business solutions - Jamaica Observer Suzanne Saunders plays lead role in Digicel's business solutions - Jamaica Observer

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Suzanne Saunders plays lead role in Digicel's business solutions - Jamaica Observer

Suzanne Saunders plays lead role in Digicel's business solutions - Jamaica Observer

DIGICEL Jamaica has tapped Suzanne Saunders to provide strategic leadership for its portfolio of business solutions, one of the fastest growing areas of the company's operation.

Saunders, a former LIME executive, joined the commercial team at Digicel Jamaica in February as Head Business Solutions. This critical area includes the business sales, service delivery and customer support teams, the company said on Friday.

"Digicel is making a major shift, internally and externally. We are moving from being just a mobile entity to a full service provider of mobile services and business solutions. To that end, our Business Solutions team has been restructured to bring together the right skill sets and talents to build a division that will support our customer's needs within the corporate solutions space," said Saunders.

"Our customers expect that we are able to look after them; they're looking for a highly efficient team that can offer then solutions, connectivity and continuity. We have aligned our business to meet the needs of these customer segments and verticals," she added.

Saunders identified the hospitality industry as one of the customer segments that her team will partner with.

"The hospitality industry requires very skilled individuals who know the hotel industry and, in our case, able to support these customers in helping them through cyclical revenues. Cost reduction is foremost in everyone's mind, and our products, services and technology, have to be able to help address the main points for these businesses. Our business has been structured around our customers, and is focused on making the process of doing business with us a productive experience," she said.

Speaking on key projects, Saunders was very passionate about the importance of disaster recovery in the Jamaican environment.

"I cannot stress the critical importance of disaster recovery and protection of vital business data. Businesses are already operating with tight budgets these days, so imagine the financial damage that even one hour of downtime can do to your business, let alone 24 hours," she said, noting "So one of my main focuses, along with my team, is to build greater awareness around our world class data centre and ultimately help all businesses see how disaster recovery through our data centre can help them to eliminate the cost of having to restore lost data, plus lost business."

Opened in 2009, Digicel's Data Centre is the only Tier III-certified facility of its kind in the Caribbean. This certification means that every component of Digicel's infrastructure has the resilience and redundancy necessary to keep its facility fully operational in the event there is a major power system failure, or if the systems need to be taken out of production for planned maintenance activities.

The ICT Business Solutions head also mentioned that based on current discussions, she is confident that some of the key companies in Jamaica will become clients of Digicel's Data Centre over the coming months, in addition to its existing local and regional client base.

Prior to joining Digicel, Suzanne served in several senior commercial roles across a myriad of industries. Among her former roles was Regional Head — Corporate Customer Segment for LIME, where she had responsibility for strategic planning and implementation for their corporate channel.

"I believe that I bring a strong international sales and marketing background to Digicel, having worked within large corporate entities in Jamaica and within the Caribbean region. I have had the experience of working through two major business transformations," Saunders said.

"My experience, in successfully navigating these companies' sales and service teams through these transformations, will be integral to Digicel. It is about making this shift, while still building our revenues, and our business," she added. "My telecommunications background, having been with LIME for six and a half years, brings knowledge of the industry, being with a company that is over 120 years old and a full service provider, to going to a company that is 11 years old, determined, vibrant and passionate about its market share in Jamaica."

Prior to LIME, Saunders served with the GraceKennedy Group at Grace Foods International where she managed the marketing portfolio for 13 countries in the Southern Caribbean.

Mr. Dimon goes to Washington - Reuters UK

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK | Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:08pm BST

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jamie Dimon will be playing a new role in Washington this Wednesday, called to explain JPMorgan's recent trading debacle after years of being known as the Wall Street banker who got it right during the financial crisis.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to press Dimon on how much more will the estimated $2 billion trading loss grow, and whether the purported failed hedging strategy was really a speculative bet that went largely undetected until it was too late.

The embarrassing loss from a series of trades out of JPMorgan's London office has also raised questions about the oversight of regulators and whether proposed rules curbing proprietary trading will be adequate.

The Senate Banking Committee has asked Dimon to come prepared to provide "a thorough accounting of the trading losses," a committee aide said. Senators will also ask what he knew about the risks involved in the trading strategy.

Analysts say Dimon, who was once Washington's token banker ally after JPMorgan salvaged the wreckage of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual during the financial crisis, can't be too coy in his answers.

"The main question on people's minds is how did this happen?" said analyst Jason Goldberg of Barclays. "People don't understand how something can go from nothing to something in relatively short order and not be detected until it was too late."

So far Dimon has been contrite, calling the trades "sloppy" and saying "egregious mistakes" were made.

But in four prior public appearances about the trades, Dimon declined to provide many details on what happened, saying that he feared doing so would give trading adversaries clues to how to take advantage of JPMorgan's still-open positions.

Mark Calabria, a former Republican aide on the Banking Committee, now with the libertarian Cato Institute, said Dimon will at least have to show he's got a handle on the portfolio.

"He's got to relay that ‘I've got control of the company, I've got some sense of what's going on and there are not a whole lot of little bombs in the company that I'm not aware of,'" Calabria said.

Goldberg from Barclays expects the market will get just a morsel of information about the trades. Dimon has said that investors and analysts will have to wait for more details on the portfolio until mid-July when the company announces second-quarter financial results.

"I view Wednesday as the appetizer, but you have to wait to mid-July for the main course," said Goldberg.

Dimon also may shed more light on the bank's decision to radically change the way risk was measured in the Chief Investment Office responsible for the loss.


Dimon initially pegged the loss at $2 billion on May 10 when he announced the derivatives losses generated from the bank's London office and trader Bruno Iksil, dubbed the "London Whale" in credit markets due to the size of the trading positions he took.

At the time, Dimon said the loss could go to $3 billion, "or more." Some analysts have estimated the losses could reach $5 billion, based on market talk about the exact trades.

Even at $5 billion, the loss would not be debilitating for the company, which last year spent $3.2 billion on litigation and still made a $19 billion profit.

The loss has raised larger questions about whether bank executives and regulators can spot growing risks before it's too late.

It also has weakened Dimon's position as the unofficial spokesman for Wall Street banks as they push for more moderate versions of reforms called for in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law.

Democrats are expected to press Dimon on whether the losses could have been prevented by the trading restrictions in the so-called Volcker rule and whether he now considers his criticism of this policy as misguided.

Democrat Sherrod Brown will quiz the CEO on whether his bank and others like it are too big to manage, according to a spokeswoman.

Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the panel, plans to ask Dimon "why he is so adamantly opposed to the primary measure that would protect taxpayers against further bailouts - higher capital requirements," the senator's spokesman said.

Shelby and other Republicans have criticized many Dodd-Frank reforms as too complicated to work and have portrayed higher capital standards as a more elegant answer to the question of how to make sure large banks can absorb losses.

On June 7, the Federal Reserve released a set of proposals to implement new Basel III capital standards agreed to by the heads of the world's 20 leading economies.

Dimon has been critical of the agreement, arguing that parts of it, such as how mortgage servicing rights are treated, are unfair to American lenders and ultimately will lead to fewer loans being provided to individuals and businesses.


Profiles of the often combative Dimon have noted he took up boxing after leaving Citigroup Inc in 1998 during an executive shakeup.

For him personally the Senate hearing, and another hearing planned by a House of Representatives panel for later this month, will be about more than showing he can take a political punch -- they are opportunities to restore a diminished reputation.

"It's the first step in what will be a long road to restoring his credibility politically," said Brian Gardner, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

(Reporting By Dave Clarke and David Henry; Editing by Karey Wutkowski and Tim Dobbyn)

Financial services firms get stiff fines - Independent Online

The Financial Services Board (FSB) Enforcement Committee, the board’s administrative justice arm, has fined two financial services companies R100 000 each for not adhering to the law.

* The first, Regent Life Assurance Company, was fined R100 000 for contravening the policyholder protection rules of the Long-Term Insurance Act, in that Regent:

- Entered into an agreement in connection with its insurance products with Gertel Algemene Handelaars CC trading as Multi Brokers, while Multi Brokers was not authorised to render financial services;

- Did not provide a policyholder with written information; and

- Conducted business with Multi Brokers without having entered into a written agreement.

The second, Ness Consulting Services, was fined R100 000 for contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act for conducting financial services business with another company, Prospercare Benefit Solutions, which was not licensed to render financial services in respect of funeral benefit policies.

And Prospercare Benefit Solutions was fined R80 000 for contravening:

- The FAIS Act by giving advice and rendering intermediary services on long-term insurance policies without being licensed to do so in terms of the Act; and

- The Long-Term Insurance Act by inducing consumers to buy or continue long-term insurance policies by offering a competition draw that made them eligible to win various types of prizes.

Other recent fines handed down by the Enforcement Committee include:

* Prosperity Group was fined R50 000 for negligently allowing at least one staff member to sell fraudulent life assurance policies to earn commissions. Prosperity clients had their bank accounts debited for the premiums.

The Enforcement Committee found the negligence was a contravention the FAIS Act’s general code of conduct for authorised financial services providers (FSPs) in that Prosperity failed to render financial services with due skill, care and diligence and in the interests of clients and the integrity of the financial services industry when it failed to put in place proper internal controls to prevent or detect the submission of fraudulent applications for insurance cover by its employees.

Prosperity accepted responsibility for the contravention, reported the case to the police, assisted the police in apprehending one of the suspects, reversed the commissions and reimbursed the clients whose accounts were debited as a result of the fraudulent cover.

* FSP Clement Karabo Phakane was fined R25 000 and FSPs Roderick Charles McFarquhar and Gidimag CC were each fined R10 000 for contravening the FAIS Act by marketing and/or advertising the services of foreign-based Safecap Investments trading as, which was not an authorised FSP nor a representative of an authorised FSP.

The FSB Enforcement Committee may impose administrative penalties, compensation orders and cost orders on respondents that are found to have contravened any law administered by the FSB.

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