Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 01, 2016 (SKNIS): The former chief executive officer (CEO) of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, Dawne Williams, who demitted office on August 31, 2016, after serving three years in that capacity, has been acclaimed by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, as a “legendary figure in terms of banking, not just in St. Kitts and Nevis but beyond.”
Miss Williams, along with Board Members of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, visited Government Headquarters on August 31, where they were met by Prime Minister Harris, Attorney General Honourable Vincent Byron and Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins.
In bidding the CEO farewell, Prime Minister Harris underscored her valuable contribution.
“We were fortunate that a few years ago she came back to St. Kitts and Nevis to serve the land that she loves and to serve us at the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank,” said the prime minister, while noting that the “National Bank has a proud record of being the largest bank in the (Eastern Caribbean) Currency Union, largest by deposits, largest by loans and largest by assets.”
“She took on the herculean task of ensuring that the bank was stabilized, that the bank could move forward at a time when many challenges had emerged in the currency region: challenges to do with non-performing loans, challenges to do with correspondent banking (and) challenges to do with the inadequacy of the legislative framework for the financial space,” said Prime Minister Harris.
He said that CEO Williams had come at an opportune time “with that wealth and fountain of experience” and because of this “National Bank shone brightly as the premier commercial financial institution of the state.”
Referred to as “genuine”, Prime Minister Harris said that “it has always been a pleasurable occasion to have discussed matters with Miss Williams and on every occasion in which I had to interact and to speak with her, I was able to feel the genuine desire on her part to do what was best for the institution and by extension the country, but a willingness to find solutions to the many challenges that we discussed and to find ways for exploiting the opportunities that had arisen for the benefit of our people.”
On the other hand, Miss Williams thanked Prime Minister Harris in saying “It has been an absolute pleasure working with you.”
“I came back to give back and that I did. The National Bank, as you said, is the cornerstone of the financial institutions, not just in St. Kitts and Nevis but in the Union as a whole and our flag stands high. It is been said that when the seas are rough is when you test what the captain does. I’m glad that I worked through a time when the seas were rough and I kept a calm head and continued to set sail and landed safely ashore,” she said.
“I can promise you that the National Bank I am handing over to you is in good stead and I will continue to support, and as I said to the interim chair, Mr. Thompson, that I am available should he need any assistance and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” added Miss Williams.
Miss Williams said that she valued the conversations with Prime Minister Harris.
“Personally, I would say Mr. PM, it has been a pleasure interacting with you whether it was early at morning, late at night; whenever you called, I was always there for you and I wish you all the best as the journey continues,” Miss Williams said, while adding that she appreciated her senior leadership team for accepted her in and that she will continue to lend her support to it.
I said in my opening remarks that you are legendary because banking is a tough field and though in recent times we have seen many women coming to leadership positions, in the case of National Bank, you certainly represent the first to have taken on officially the spot of CEO and this is no small feat to have been accomplished by you, so to you and the family and friends who supported you our very best wishes again are extended,” Prime Minister Harris said in congratulating Miss Williams on his own behalf and the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Mr. Donald Thompson will serve as Interim CEO of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank.