The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission has not had a properly constituted board for nearly five months and the regulator of the local securities market is now operating with an acting chief executive officer, as the term of office of the former CEO, Hadyn Gittens came to an end on July 31, 2020.

Responding to queries from Express Business, the Commission disclosed that the term of the board ended on April 24, 2020.

The recommendations for the appointments to the board of the Commission come from the Ministry of Finance. The recommendations from the ministry are then reduced to a Cabinet Note and the approved Note is sent to the Office of the President, which issues the instruments of appointment.

Section 10 (2) of the Securities Act states: “The President shall appoint all the commissioners and shall appoint one of their number to be its chairman and another commissioner to be its deputy chairman.”

Asked if the Ministry of Finance was aware that the TTSEC is currently without either a board or a substantive CEO, an official there said: “There is Cabinet-appointed board, but the process is waiting on instruments from the President.”

Communications advisor to President Paula-Mae Weekes, Cheryl Lala, said the instruments of appointment for the new TTSEC board had been received by the Office of the President. But the instruments were sent back to the Cabinet secretariat because they contained “a few errors.”

The Ministry of Finance official said the incoming board of TTSEC bears a resemblence to the board whose term ended on April 24, except for the chairman. The previous chairman of the Commission is senior counsel Douglas Mendes, who is also president of the Law Association of T&T.

Under past board members on the TTSEC’s website are: Mendes as chairman; deputy chair Enid Zephyrine, who is a director in the Ministry of Finance; commissioner Suzette Taylor-Lee Chee, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance; commissioner Imtiaz Hosein, an accountant; commissioner Patrick Solomon, who is senior adviser at the Central Bank and commissioner Elaine Green, an attorney at law.

Section 10 (1) of the Securities Act states: “...the Commission shall consist of no more than nine nor fewer than five individuals, including—(a) an attorney-at-law of at least ten years standing; and (b) a senior officer from the Ministry (of Finance).”

Questioned on what the TTSEC would be able to do without a properly constituted board and if without a board, the Commission can levy fines on companies, approve new products, register new entities, a TTSEC spokesperson said: “The Commission’s operations continue as usual and matters which require the Board’s approval/resolution will be held until the appointment of a new board.”

New CEO?

On Monday, Hadyn Gittens confirmed that his three-year contract as CEO of the TTSEC expired on July 31, 2020.

Concerning the transition after the end Gittens’ contract, the Commission said: “When the contract of Mr Hadyn Gittens expired, Ms Lystra Lucillio, who holds the substantive position of deputy CEO, was appointed to act in the position of Chief Executive Officer, with the approval of the Minister of Finance, effective August 2, 2020.”

With respect to the appointment of a substantive CEO, section 22 of the Securities Act states:

22. (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister, appoint its chief executive officer who shall not be a Commissioner.

(2) The Minister shall approve the terms and conditions of appointment of the chief executive officer.

(3) The chief executive officer shall perform such functions as may be conferred on him by the Commission....”


NEW businesses are emerging in Trinidad and Tobago, despite the economic fallout caused by Covid-19 and one such business is the Mansion restaurant located at the corner of Maraval Road and Rust Street in St Clair.

The Mansion restaurant is a subsidiary of NCG Enterprises and opened its doors to the public last week.

WESTMOORINGS-BASED Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL) last week floated a J$13.4 billion (about US$90 million) bond, some of the proceeds of which will be used to acquire the insurance and annuities business of an insurance company in Jamaica, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trinidad and Tobago insurance company’s Jamaican parent, NCB Financial (NCBFG). NCBFG became the majority 62-per cent shareholder of GHL in May 2019, after a protracted takeover bid.

WHOLLY State-owned crude oil producer, Heritage Petroleum, is prepared to sell the company’s crude to the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, if that billion-dollar State asset is transferred by the end of October to Patriotic Energies, the company formed by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU).

IN our two previous articles, we shared some of the tools that you can use to get started with investing, as a means of making your money work for you. We focused on some of the available resources on our investor education website such as: a risk profile test, Investor Education Manual and Work Book and Online course, blog articles, life stages and our Investing Game, Investor Quest tt—

This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana.

ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country’s Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. As production ramps up, its first stage offshore wells were projected to produce 750,000 barrels a day by 2025, tripling the size of Guyana’s economy, from US$3.4 billion to US$13 billion.

Property Tax is not open for debate, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said.

Responding to questions from the public during Monday’s Spotlight on Budget 2021 event, Imbert said he was aware of many discussions on the tax.