The Adrian Loveridge Column – Entrepreneurs and Bank Managers Live On a Parallel Planet

Adrian Loveridge

This week’s column is a very personal one for which I make no apologies as I sincerely believe this country is at a critical crossroads with very limited decision choices. While not professing for a second to have any special financial skills, the mere fact that I have been in essence, an entrepreneur since the age of 13 for more than five decades gives me some insight to the world of commerce.

Before leaving school I sold new but slightly imperfect shirts from market stalls at the English towns of Chelmsford and Romford and the famous Petticoat Lane in the then ‘notorious east End of London’. Rather than spend those earnings on ‘bling’ or childish acquisitions, it was used to buy household wares which I sold, door-to-door from a small suitcase.

Among my illustrious customers at that time was the mother of the infamous Kray Twins, who from memory, was a lovely kind lady that probably only used to buy my offerings because she either felt sorry for me or just admired my tenacity.

Without wanting to brag, before my 21st birthday, I was the majority shareholder and Managing Director of four companies with a total annual turnover in the millions (Sterling).

Coming from a family of three brothers who were abandoned by our father at the age of seven meant that we learnt and adapted quickly,more than anything though, we grew up to appreciate everything that came our way and acquired a real sense of money and values.

My oldest brother was clever enough to win a scholarship to attend one of Britain’s best public schools and went on to become a doctor. The other went into the merchant navy and over subsequent years built and ran some of the most visionary businesses in various parts of the world.

Personally I have never considered myself successful, at least strictly in any monetary terms, an observation, which was recently publicly highlighted by a regional hotel mogul. To me that word success is not about owning private jets and yachts, but that’s a personal view and it may motivate others.

If I have ever achieved anything approaching success it is because I have been lucky enough to attract like-minded souls who have helped achieve a common purpose.

From a tourism perspective, we have many clever, talented, determined young people out there, who have the ideas to get on the first step of hospitality entrepreneurship and live their dreams, but who are met with a barrage of frustration, red-tape and negativity. I applaud one of our banks who have put their support and funds into encouraging the growth of small businesses, but more has to be done.

Almost every day we are witnessing larger enterprises, downsize or in their mind, right size, trying to adapt to the current trading situation, so am firmly convinced that the road to fiscal survival and recovery will come from our small company sector. While banks repeatedly remind us that they are not in the risk business there has to be a better way, where seed funding is made more accessible.

Almost half a century ago, I came to the conclusion that entrepreneurs and bank managers live on a parallel planet. The two groups are motivated, enticed and driven by completely different ideals and objectives so it is small wonder that meaningful communication is often difficult.

Perhaps every senior and aspiring bank official should serve a learning internship with a small business to help create a better understanding?

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44 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Entrepreneurs and Bank Managers Live On a Parallel Planet”

  1. Michael Allamby September 11, 2017 at 6:06 AM #

    On point Adrian

    Like

  2. peterlawrencethompson September 11, 2017 at 9:09 AM #

    @Adrian,
    I am not a fan of banks but I feel I must explain. Consumer & commercial banks are not sources of venture capital. To criticize them for this is akin to criticizing a bull for not giving milk: it is neither their nature nor their role.

    If Bajans want their savings to be invested as venture capital the answer is simple: don’t put it in the consumer & commercial bank, put it into an institution like an investment bank or credit union whose role is to provide venture capital.

    Like

  3. Adrian Loveridge September 11, 2017 at 9:21 AM #

    A very fair and reasonable view Peter, but the failure of so banks must also raise the question of what is their real function and purpose?

    Like

  4. peterlawrencethompson September 11, 2017 at 9:53 AM #

    @Adrian,
    It is reasonably clear from their behaviour that their real function and purpose is to trap people in debt by enticing them to buy useless toys on credit, to warehouse people’s savings so that they are eaten away by inflation without earning any interest, and to generate unconscionable rates of return for foreign shareholders through every type of service fee that they can imagine.

    They fulfill this function and purpose quite well.

    Like

  5. David September 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM #

    @Adrian

    We have been a stuck record in this forum that commercial banking in Barbados is all about financing consumer products i.e. vehicles, houses, travel etc. Easier for them to make money and spread the risk.

    Like

  6. Tron September 11, 2017 at 9:56 AM #

    Adrian,

    You forgot to mention cabinet minister, judges and high bureaucrats in Barbados! Sitting in their silver Mercedes, they live in the first world, the masses in their huts in the third world.

    Like

  7. Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim. September 11, 2017 at 11:12 AM #

    Bajans are risk-averse, that is why shareholders sell their shares in productive companies and put their cash in banks earning no interest at the first hint of trouble (BS&T, Banks, etc.).

    The only place for risk-takers to find venture capital in Bim is from other risk-takers. Usually this means foregoing large or even majority shares in any new venture.

    It has been that way forever. Only two generations ago it was impossible to finance any business purchase by any means other than the person selling it, regardless of whether it was a fishing boat, snowcone cart, rumshop or sugar plantation.

    Like

  8. Chad99999 September 11, 2017 at 11:30 AM #

    PLT

    is sounding like a crackpot. Commercial banks provide many useful services for the middle class — supporting home mortgage lending, facilitating stock investments for personal retirement accounts, financing car purchases for youngsters who must have a car to get and keep their jobs, etc.

    Like

  9. Bernard Codrington. September 11, 2017 at 12:10 PM #

    Historically commercial banks engage in sort term lending e.g crop financing ,the financing of trade,and house and construction mortgages. This policy was based on the notion that banks borrow short term (deposits ) and must therefore lend short term. It is a matter of balancing risks.
    However in our situation, deposits are loaned to the banks at medium to long term periods and these are generally onlent to businesses for similar terms, especially to large businesses and governments e.g treasury NOTES and debentures.

    Start up loans and venture capital financing is not part of the business of commercial banks. The most commercial banks can do for small businesses, outside of short term lending, is a medium term loan with a value which should not exceed the value of the entrepreneur’s capital injection.
    The Bank is merely lending out deposits of several small savers and must structure their risk profile appropriately.

    Like

  10. Hal Austin September 11, 2017 at 12:49 PM #

    @ Bernard Codrington,
    Am I right in thinking we discussed the Laffer Curve sometime ago in this blog? I ask because elsewhere the issue has come up again.

    Like

  11. peterlawrencethompson September 11, 2017 at 1:15 PM #

    @Vincent Haynes,
    Rawdon is a very clever lad, but we all need to remember that the Financial sector is not the economy. The Financial sector is what got us into the sorry mess we are in, and it will not be what gets us out. It is because economic thinking was dominated by financial wizards that none of them were able to predict the 2008 meltdown.

    If you want to dig deeper you can read Bezemer and Hudson in the JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Vol. L No. 3 September 2016
    http://www.economicsofcreditanddebt.org/media/research/745-768_Bezemer.Hudson.pdf

    Like

  12. Hal Austin September 11, 2017 at 1:22 PM #

    Peter,
    Is Rawdon a fund manager, or is it to do with heritage, as we are told by those who should know: important people coming to dinner and interesting conversations around the dinner table, los of books in the house?
    Or, are we as Bajans just deferential? The same deference that has us celebrating mediocrity?

    Like

  13. peterlawrencethompson September 11, 2017 at 1:25 PM #

    Yes @Chad99999, commercial and consumer banks do lots of things that are less parasitic that my short satirical list; I thought it was clear that I was tongue in cheek. They also, for instance, extend loans to car importers to bring in new vehicles, finance the construction of brand name hotels & resorts, and under-write safe commercial or residential real estate developments.

    What they do not do is support entrepreneurs or innovators, but it is these latter that Barbados needs.

    Like

  14. peterlawrencethompson September 11, 2017 at 1:29 PM #

    @Hal Austin,
    I know Rawdon only by what he publishes; it is clear to me that he is clever.

    Like

  15. Hants September 11, 2017 at 2:39 PM #

    Also there assisting with the pitch to interested Barbadian buyers who could afford to shell out between US$700 000 and US$800 000 for a unit,

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/100363/social-scene-walcott-launches-beach-view

    Like

  16. Bernard Codrington. September 11, 2017 at 2:48 PM #

    Hal Austin at 12:49 PM

    Yes we did ,within the last two months and on the same issue. We concluded that the Laffer curve was irrelevant to our situation. I note that ELT came to the same conclusion.

    Like

  17. GreenMonkey September 11, 2017 at 2:52 PM #

    Misconceptions Around Banking, Banking 101 (Part 1 of 6):

    More info at PostiveMoney(DOT)org:

    Our current financial system has left us with the highest personal debt in history, unaffordable housing, worsening inequality, high unemployment and banks that are subsidised and underwritten with taxpayers’ money. We believe that these problems have a common root: money.

    Who we are

    We’re a not-for-profit organisation based in London (although we also work with partners around the world). We rely on a team of skilled and dedicated volunteers, coordinated by eight full-time staff and operate from a small (and cheap!) office.
    Our Advisory Panel includes economics professors, authors, entrepreneurs and people from the financial industry who know that something needs to change.

    Like

  18. Bernard Codrington. September 11, 2017 at 3:11 PM #

    @ Hal at 1:22 PM

    It appears that after a stint in your Ministry of Finance ,Rawdon is into Financial Technology. Please see his CV at the end of an article that Vincent has uploaded at 12 :55 PM. Thank you Vincent.

    Like

  19. Hal Austin September 11, 2017 at 3:25 PM #

    @Bernard,

    Thanks. It is just that some ideas are regurgitated as if new.
    @Bernard, I am sure Rawdon is a bright man. But we have to be careful that we are not over-praising people the way we are Marla Dukharan.
    There re some very bright Barbadian (and of Barbadian heritage) men and women.

    Like

  20. Hal Austin September 11, 2017 at 3:31 PM #

    @Bernard,
    My ministry of finance is headed by Chris Sinckler. But the UK’s ministry of finance is the Treasury, which until 2008 was the Rolls Royce of the civil service. It lost out in the robust debate that followed the global financial crisis and the collapse of some UK institutions.
    By the way, a woman of Jamaican heritage was a permanent secretary in the Treasury. She is now being tipped as a future governor of the Bank of England.
    Rawdon Adams was just a middle-ranking civil servant in the Overseas Development department. intelligent, but not exceptional.

    Like

  21. Gabriel September 11, 2017 at 4:15 PM #

    Another Adams to the rescue came.Confidence in Bim again.Investments can’t done.Not one damn seat fuh dem.Tally ho,on yon horizon rides another boy name Adams seeking a professional opportunity to serve his native country.Make clear the way for this son ‘o de soil who wants to serve his country.

    Like

  22. Bernard Codrington. September 11, 2017 at 8:01 PM #

    @ Hal Austin at 3 : 25 PM

    We are on the same page with sentiments expressed there in.

    Hal Austin at 3:31 pm

    I hope that the Jamaican PS was not the reason for your down- grade in the status of the UK Treasury, LOL. West Indian born British PSs usually add value to the British Public Service. Do you recall Sir Frank Newsam a Barbadian? He was head of the U.K.public service in the 1960s.

    Like

  23. Hants September 12, 2017 at 12:14 PM #

    “CASTRIES – St Lucia is recording an increase in visitor arrivals with the island reporting improvements in stayover visitors from all the major markets with the exception of Canada.”

    Note “with the exception of Canada “

    Like

  24. David September 12, 2017 at 12:15 PM #

    Why Canada Hants? Airlift issues?

    Like

  25. Hal Austin September 12, 2017 at 12:18 PM #

    Hants,
    This is no a surprise. The root of this was the 2007 Cricket World Cup when the England team was based in St Lucia. Everyday we were inundated with profiles of St Lucia; the result was lots of Brits wanting to visit.
    Also, in case we forget, St Lucia out-performs Barbados by leaps and bounds; the streets are better development is better planned; it wins mot CXC top school awards; and it has two Nobel Laureates.
    Further, our most mischievous trade unionist is a St Lucian – undermining from within.

    Like

  26. Hal Austin September 12, 2017 at 12:21 PM #

    Bernard,
    A number of Caribbean people do quite well in the UK, although not enough do. My hero was the late Stuart Hall, from Jamaica.

    Like

  27. Hants September 12, 2017 at 12:25 PM #

    @ David I will do some research and let you know.

    Like

  28. Chad99999 September 12, 2017 at 12:46 PM #

    Canadians were at one time the leading nationality group for Barbados in the tourist population.

    Today, most prefer to visit the northern Caribbean, particularly value-for-money destinations like Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Cancun. They also spend time in Vegas and Hawaii.

    As Canada takes in more and more Asian and Mexican immigrants the future for Barbados looks grim. Even Jamaica and the Bahamas are struggling to attract Canadians.

    Like

  29. Tron September 12, 2017 at 1:18 PM #

    Marston seems to read our comments on the Barbados SC. Read “CJ hits back at CCJ” in the newspaper. However, the difference between the CJ and the judges at the CCJ or the black federal judge at SCOUTS is simply that the latter judges do NOT boast their many hobbies on official webpages.

    He also picked up our idea to have a close look at the working hours of his underlings. BU rocks the legal fraternity!

    Like

  30. ks September 12, 2017 at 2:08 PM #

    “Almost half a century ago, I came to the conclusion that entrepreneurs and bank managers live on a parallel planet. ” …………. Adrian, remember that old Maths (Geometry) definition instilled in us, when a child, about parallel lines??? …….. they never meet!!!

    Like

  31. Pachamama September 12, 2017 at 2:22 PM #

    David

    We have noticed that the media are reporting that the Great Halton Martin has passed on.

    There is nobody in Barbados who has struggled as much as Martin against economic systems of oppression.

    Indeed there are few Bajans possessing his courage, in the face of oppression, that have arrived so near to a final victory.

    Maybe this is his final victory over our enemies!

    May the Great Ancestors receive their son Halton G Martin.

    Ase!!!!!!!!

    Like

  32. millertheanunnaki September 12, 2017 at 3:01 PM #

    @ Tron September 12, 2017 at 1:18 PM
    “He also picked up our idea to have a close look at the working hours of his underlings. BU rocks the legal fraternity!”

    You might be surprised to find out the many ideas and proposals for improvement which have been floated on Bu and stolen by the ‘powers-that-be” and have been refashioned and ‘branded’ as their own policy proposals.

    BU is an e-forum for attracting some of the finest minds Barbados has produced with the mouth of original thought supported by a backbone of rebelliousness against an establishment of academic brainwashing and a comatose morality from the 19th century Victorian era of Bajan hypocrisy and double standards.

    Just examine the views and policy positions taken by the political establishment and their henchmen of law enforcement in respect of the cultivation, trading and consumption of marijuana (a god-given plant native to tropical and sub-tropical climes and an enterprising business opportunity to supplement or replace the dying King Sugar) and you will get to the core of the intellectual problem facing poor backwards Babaydus.

    Just read ‘Our Dear John’ contributions about the halcyon days of chattel slavery or even the offshore outrageously maverick friend in Chad 9×5 and Hal Austin the shallow-minded madman pretending to be a ‘falsified’ Englishman in a black skin who can freely have their say without a Commonsense Fatwa of Taliban origin being issued for their immediate silence; thereby giving relevance to the poem of evergreen wisdom aptly titled “Desiderata”:

    “Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
    even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story..”

    Like

  33. David September 12, 2017 at 3:31 PM #

    @Pacha

    He, Nassar and Trevor Clarke kicked the butt of the establishment in their day and paid a sorry price.

    May he rest in peace.

    Like

  34. lawson September 12, 2017 at 4:55 PM #

    Hal My daughter and fiance took a trip to St Lucia in April for a change from barbados which she has visited over 40 times. She was totally dis appointed, they were harassed constantly and everywhere, the guided tour operators did nothing to stop the onslaught of beggars and sellers alike they felt threatened. They didnt find the island particularly clean but their resort was nice . Barbados is a much nicer place but they have lift up their game.

    Like

  35. Hal Austin September 12, 2017 at 5:08 PM #

    Lawson,
    I like St Lucia. But remember there are about 7000 Caribbean islands, all of them different.

    Like

  36. Tron September 13, 2017 at 7:20 AM #

    @millertheanunnaki September 12, 2017 at 3:01 PM #

    When the time is right and Marston´s opera ends, we will formulate the conditions for the new CJ. What a funny thing that Marston´s reign of leisure coincides with the general decline of Barbados.

    Like

  37. William Skinner September 13, 2017 at 9:41 AM #

    @ Pacha
    Comment on Hal’s very poignant. He was very sincere about changing the business culture
    but truth be told, like all other freedom fighters,
    he encountered the enemy within. Those
    Blacks who simply cannot agree that there is a
    rampant racist traditional corporate sector,
    buttressed by an insensitive banking sector
    and weak black political class.
    We see that Dr. Beckles had found his
    voice once more about removing Nelson.
    The struggle continues.

    Like

  38. Bush Tea September 13, 2017 at 9:56 AM #

    @ William
    There are some things that you understand SOOOO well….

    Surely there is a way for someone who is willing to use his own name, and be so frank (even in the face of strong criticism), to play a role in saving some of the BBBBs from ourselves…

    Face it, the NDP was a mistake – mostly because it sought to fight the albino-centrics with their own weapons…
    Note that Jeff hit the nail in the ‘dead centre’ of its head last week – when he summarised the root of our demise….
    That man is a true academic.

    Are you interested in a whacker…?

    Like

  39. chad99999 September 14, 2017 at 2:49 PM #

    FROM SLATE.COM

    “[In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma], the sewage spills in Florida range from benign to revolting. In some cases, a few hundred gallons of raw sewage burst from manholes into non-flooded areas and were quickly cleaned up. But in Miami, the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant reported a 6-million-gallon sewage spill that reached Biscayne Bay. While the report said the area was cleaned and disinfected, it also says the public was not notified and the sewage was not recovered.
    In Seminole County, north of Orlando, a sewer overflowed for six hours, spilling 2 million gallons. More than 300,000 gallons flowed into Stevenson Creek, which the Tampa Bay Times reports is already “one of Pinellas County’s most polluted bodies of water.” The St. Johns River in Jacksonville has seen at least 130,000 gallons of sewage released into its tributaries. And in Volusia County, which holds Daytona Beach, a 2-million-gallon spill of treated sewage has seen “no cleanup efforts” so far, according to a notice.
    To some extent, sewage overflows are to be expected during big storms. “Those who know how these systems work understand that when this amount of water comes into the system, there’s absolutely nothing that can to be done except to let the water go,” Harwood said. “If we engineered the plants to accommodate water overflows from a hurricane, it would cost so much that people would be very angry. It’s a trade-off between uncommon events when they occur that pose a health risk versus having a really expensive overcapacity that’s not used 99 percent of the time.”

    Like

  40. Hants September 14, 2017 at 7:55 PM #

    On Friday, a cruise ship carrying around 3 000 passengers will dock at St John’s harbour in the Caribbean island of Antigua.

    Antiguan officials now expect the Carnival Fascination to visit every Friday, and have gotten about 25 calls from major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Lines looking to make stops through the end of the year.

    Like

  41. fortyacresandamule September 15, 2017 at 2:36 AM #

    Commercial banking intermediation needs a thorough disruption. Like moving away from fractional reserve banking to 100% deposit banking. In this way, you remove the moral hazard of the tax payers bailing out banks when they go under. Let them borrow their own capital from the market. Credit unions and building societies should be the true financial intermediaries.

    Like

  42. fortyacresandamule September 15, 2017 at 2:42 AM #

    @Adrian. I like your story. Very impressive in my opinion.

    Like

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