Dr. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director, JSE, addressed the opening night of the JSE Conference on the topic: “Capital Markets Redefined: Achieving the Impossible”

This Conference was the JSE’s 18th edition. Please see below Dr. Street Forrest’s entire address.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Conference.


18th Regional Conference on Investments and the Capital Markets

Theme: Capital Markets Redefined: Achieving the Impossible

Good evening and welcome to the 18th  JSE Group’s Regional Conference on Investment and the Capital Markets.  We are pleased to be hosting this stellar and premium conference on investments and the capital markets in collaboration with our international, regional and local lead sponsors: Jefferies and NCB Investments Limited and Dequity Capital Management Limited, as well as other  invaluable sponsors who have been with us over all these years or those who have recently joined us. We appreciate this vital support which has been the life blood of the event.

Tonight, I celebrate the fact that we are once again congregated in a manner that brings out the best in us, that is the ability to feel the pulse of discussions and to greet each other with a sense of positivity and in a spirit of collaboration.  I am pleased that we have returned to a face-to-face setting aided by technology to facilitate those who are unable to be here in person, throughout the three (3) days of conference.

However you choose to join us, we know that there will be significant opportunities available for you to listen, participate, dream and ultimately to innovate and implement. We also know that you will have an enhanced experience this year as we celebrate the18th staging of this forum which is considered the blue ribbon capital markets and investments event in our region.

As capital market operants, we are conscious that as the world turns, the capital markets are not static and are driven by economic activities, entities and expectations of all who operate therein. As we look and plan for innovations, we must plan for the myriad of risks that are around and surround us.

Let us embrace the conference theme: ‘Conference Markets Redefined – Achieving the Impossible’ as it begs us to contemplate how markets can achieve what is impossible.  Impossible here is used within the context of the present and how a country, or a region is perceived. However, the impossible calls for visionary thinking that propels us to see the future differently and find how we can make a difference. Therefore, the charge for this Conference is for us as regional leaders in the capital markets, to dare to be different in ways that allow us to shine in technological innovation, developing sustainable products and services and providing solutions that can be adapted globally.  

Financial markets ecosystems are changing and with ingenuity comes superior risks and rewards. Therefore, actors in the capital markets must quickly adopt and adapt to new technologies to deliver superior services aimed at surpassing customers’ requirements and expectations and delivering real return on investments. That is how achieving the ‘Impossible’ can and should be measured.

I quote no statistics tonight when I say ‘Re-imagined’ could mean simply getting back to the basics of life, hearts that are pure and a love that endures that would see us building the capital markets on the back of service and care; a care that would drive us to embrace the concept and fact that if we are to build faster and move further, we must collaborate to develop the social sector by improving the ecosystem and concentrating on the social sector as an engine of growth.

During the course of this Capital Markets Conference, we will be delving into solutions that will propel the growth of the capital markets in a manner that democratizes wealth while building sustainable economies. The solutions will provide us with a sense of pride which is more than profits, but one that creates the multiplier effect for the overall upliftment of our people.  While we discuss frameworks and governance, let us not be carried away by them but immerse ourselves into the frame of mind to work conscientiously with proper governance systems and procedures, so they live and breathe and take root within the culture of our organization.

It is important that as we navigate through unprecedented changes in the markets that we research fresh approaches that will drive micro and macroeconomic stability for our region.  In closing, the Jamaica Stock Exchange wishes to reassure the region and the world that we understand that confidence and transparency drives a market, and we continue to be proactive in our approach to protect those who depend on us to deliver on our promise of mobilizing capital for growth within a fair, ethical, efficient and transparent environment.

As you delve into the upcoming days of conference, I wish you every success. The Conference has been strategically placed at the beginning of the year to help set the tone for the coming months.  It will examine issues such as:

  • Opportunities for growth through investments from the Diaspora;
  • Doing business in Africa;
  • The use of technology to re-shape businesses;
  • The digital assets market;
  • Food security;
  • Alternative investments;
  • Corporate governance;
  • Renewable energy
  • And other stimulating topics of discussion.

We will have our always exciting Venture Capital Pitch Room and of course our signature networking event ‘Fashion, Culture & Cuisine’.  We have an array of speakers who will stimulate, energize and encourage you to dream the impossible dream; to fight those unbeatable foes; to bear with unbearable sorrow; to run where the brave dare not go, and to reach the unreachable stars.

This should be our quest as we use this Regional Conference to meet, greet and network, knowing that the discussions, deliberations, sharing and caring are the keys to ‘Reimaging the Regional Capital Markets and Achieving the Impossible.