Sir Allan Fields The Man Behind The Orchestration To Dump Barbados Shipping And Trading To The Trinidadians

Monday 17, May-2004

giving up CEO of BS&T after five years. Senator Allan Fields, the man who has led the country’s biggest conglomerate, Barbados Shipping & Trading, for the past five years is preparing to step down from that office.
The s comes a month after he demitted the post of head of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), now led by financial management consultant Chris de Caires.

Senator Fields revealed in an exclusive interview with BUSINESS AUTHORITY over the weekend that the island’s most important private sector employer had already started its recruitment process and by next month the list of possible candidates for the top job will be narrowed down.

He is expected to step down at the end of the company’s financial year in September.

“I came to BS&T five years ago and I committed to them that I would be with them for a minimum of five years and I have indicated that I would like to retire at the end of the financial year,” he said.

Read more: Nation News

Sir David Seale, Kyffin Simpson and Sir Allan Fields are men, white men who have dominated the business landscape of Barbados over the last 30 years. Unlike Sir David and Simpson, Sir Allan has been contented to exercise his management skills to consolidate the hold which white owned companies have had on the distribution sector in Barbados over the years, in case you don’t get our drift, distribution means food! Some of the companies which Sir Allan has blessed with his business acumen are Barbados Light & Power, Tropical Battery, Neal & Massy, Banks Breweries and Barbados Shipping & Trading Company Ltd. The power base which he has developed as a consequence has ensured that he firmly wears the title of one of the most powerful men in Barbados. No doubt Prime Minister Arthur is aware of Sir Allan’s influence on the economic elite in the country and has co-opted his support in key areas of managing the economy, at the top of the list must be his involvement in the Social Partnership, a tripartite arrangement comprised of private sector, union and government. His appointment as pinch hitter as Chairman of the Board of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and Ambassador to China clearly demonstrates his positioning in the mind of Prime Minister Arthur.

Recently we heard that the merger with Neal and Massy was being crafted for over six years. We found the statement interesting if only because no business analysts in Barbados appeared to have believe that it would happen. As far back as 2004 Sir Allan gave a clue that BS&T was working towards a close association with Neal & Massy with a view to a possible merger. He was quoted in the Business Authority back as saying:

As the Caribbean business environment becomes characterized by take-overs and mergers, Senator Allan Fields says he loses no sleep over the possibility that Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) could become the target of such a corporate manoeuvre. Fields, the chief executive officer of BS&T, and who until recently headed the Barbados Private Sector Agency, said if the company had become an attractive target for a take-over “it naturally follows that the attractiveness would be in the shareholders’ best interest”.He was responding to concerns raised that when BS&T sold just over half of its 20 per cent shareholding in the Trinidadian giant Neal & Massy, it opened the company to a possible take-over.

According to the top executive: “We sold some of the shares in Neal & Massy for very good economic reasons. We had explored and exploited all the synergies with Neal & Massy in Barbados and it was in the shareholders’ best interest that we capitalized on the increased value of the Neal & Massy shares. “We still have a significant interest and a significant investment in Neal & Massy and I don’t think that selling them made us more vulnerable to any possible take-over; far from it.” Arguing that the island’s largest private sector operation did not need to “protect itself” from such a possibility, he said: “It does not mean that if BS&T was taken over that it would close down. It means that it would be part of a global marketplace and part of whatever company found it that attractive to come in and purchase it.”

According to Fields: “I don’t lose any sleep over the possibility that the company could be taken over. We in Barbados see BS&T as this big player, but in fact, it is a fly in the ointment when compared to companies outside Barbados.” In a wide-ranging interview with BUSINESS AUTHORITY, the BS&T boss revealed that the conglomerate, with investments in Canada, United Kingdom, United States and St Lucia, was seeking to achieve more of its growth from outside the country. “We have a core business in food distribution and retail, which do very well, and that has to be part of the focus of going outside Barbados. In insurance, United Insurance has been in the forefront of expansion outside Barbados over the last four years and has grown significantly in the last three. In tourism, Almond produced the best results in its history last year,” he said. And as the Caribbean market confronts a fully liberalized environment, the BS&T head said the conglomerate was prepared to meet the competition head-on, whether within or outside the region.

BU is tempted to ask how ethical would be the behavior of Sir Allan if it were to be proven that he conspired to work with Neal & Massy to sell Barbados lone conglomerate. We suspect that he would feel the venom of the famous Barbadian tongue. BS&T has fattened itself at the expense of Barbadians through the years and the idea that it can be picked-off by cash rich T&T companies we find to be extremely distasteful. The business climate in Barbados is a simple one designed to support a public good as well as to create shareholder value.

For those in our country who continue to focus on shareholder value only, we say go and come again, Barbadians have had enough! It is no secret that at BU we believe that BS&T MUST remain in Bajan hands. If Barbadians win this battle there is hope yet.

27 thoughts on “Sir Allan Fields The Man Behind The Orchestration To Dump Barbados Shipping And Trading To The Trinidadians

  1. none of this argurs well for Barbadian middleclass members. Large Trini companies do not have to contend with the expense of employing middleclass persons, and if Barbados largest companies continue to be gobbled up by those in Trinidad, and this is where the corporate strategic and other decision will be made then what experience and or best practices can they bring to the table that will be both favourable to their bottom line and to the middle class? If the current goings on in Barbados by Local Business of all sizes and stripes with regards to the importation of cheap labour under the mulitpurpose guise of better work, more productivity, and labour shortage is anything to go by, those middle class members who are employed in many of the sectors that Neal & Massey and Ana Macal are already engaged in elsewhere and that are to this date untouched by cheap imported labour may yet face the same dishonest arguments in favour of what is in many cases illegally occuring in the contruction and argricultural sectors in Barbados. The Barbadian middle class need to rise up form organizations to advance their cause and safeguard they way of life. Greed abounds everywhere, and they should not shy away from looking out for themselves.

  2. Pingback: Sir Allan Fields - Great Businessman or Traitor To Barbados - or Both? « Barbados Free Press

  3. It was a ploy by Allen Fields, which came back to bite him in the butt.

    It’s time for black, intelligent Barbadians to wake up and take over the financial landscape of this Island, before it is to late, while we are busy discussing who did what, where and with whom, the white man, the Indians, Chinese and the non Barbadians are busy, putting themselves in positions of power.

    When we do wake up, it will be to late.

    Nothing is worse than living in a place that was once your own, that you foolishly “gave” away.

  4. This place was never my own. I am far less concerned about the Trinidadians than the Chinese who will virtually control retail in Bridgetown in five or six years.

  5. Allan Fields like many of the Chairmen and CEOs who are retiring of late and who led their companies to success stories are happy to receive the millions to give them a good retirement rather than operate to benefit the country or even the company. It is a style of barefoot management which will see Barbados struggle to be competitive. BU have always been concerned at the Barbadian lack of patriotism when compared to Jamaica, T&T and the other islands.

  6. My girl friend told me that her Boss who move in dem circles told her that BS&T was to be sold long time. Even from before Tony King takeover de company. How N&M could offer $5.00 for a company that not too long ago was close to $8.00. Barbadian shareholders would got to be mad to go for this deal.
    What get we angry is when lockjack say take it or leave it. Dem really insult we with that approach. Must think we silly. Lockjack must be still smarting from last time when he try to get Pine Hill an loss, to the same Fields. Funny how tings does turn upside down.

  7. ConcernedCitizen~<strong>BU</strong> finds it very interesting that two years ago BS&T was trading at over $8.00 (2005), $5.31 (2006) and up to yesterday $5.51. Although the share prices from our research have taken a beating in the Caribbean, <strong>BU</strong> find it strange the precipitous drop in the BS&T share price compare to other companies. What is it that the market sniffed about BS&T?
    BU smells something funny ❓

  8. Pingback: Prime Minister Owen Arthur Parachutes And Leave Lynette Eastmond And Clyde Mascoll To Fly Solo « Barbados Underground

  9. eff Banned tink dat de Chinese gine tek over Bridgetown they mussee gine be tekking it over from de Indians and Syrian/Lebanese who really got de big biznisses. Eff wunnah tink dat de real power does still live pun Broad Street and de board room of BS&T wunnah head really in de sand.
    Just tek a look at who does park all dey trucks an stuff pun Bay St and do as dey like, look who does run bizniss pun Swan St and wunnah mite get a clue. But like all ah we, wunnah does like to use we skin color as a excuse fuh why we always come secon.
    Wake up nuh? We does let we self down wid dis “attitude’ dat we carry – looka de Windies!

  10. After all is said and done Barbados is changing and will have to change further to connect successfully in a world that is demanding change. The big IF is will Barbados be allowed to change to what it wants or what it has to become.

  11. Dacosta mannings started to pay out their staff a few years ago, and have closed the Speightstown & Pier Head lumber yards.
    Fields said that negotiations with Neil & Massy started 9 years ago. Tony King was brought over from Neil & Massy (Barbados) to head BS&T .
    These are not coincidences;there is a definite plan to sell off BS&T to N&M, but the shareholders will be the losers since BS&T is substantially undervalued.
    Would Fields sell a company to lose money? I doubt!!!Obviously he has some other “plan” which the shareholders must query.

  12. Wasn’t Fields in position when several good BS&T property/land assets were sold off?

    If so then there needs to be closer inspection of what prices the assets were sold for, to whom they were sold and who benefitted from the sales. Do the shareholders know or care to know?

  13. It is called “asset stripping”. Barbados Foundry,Plantations Ltd and several other local companies do it as a way of “looking after their own kith & kin” who seldom suffer any loss as a result of the “sale” or placing a company in receivership.

  14. Pingback: Hilford Murrell Surrenders And Educated Opinion On The Neal And Massy Barbados Shipping And Trading Merger~Better Late Than Never We Suppose « Barbados Underground

  15. A must read is the article published by Patrick Hoyos over at the Broad Street Journal. The top 11 shareholders will be the ones who decide if the merger goes through. By the look of some of the names it could be a done deal.

    Meet BS&T’s First Eleven – the group’s largest shareholders besides Neal & Massy
    Exclusive to the BSJ by Patrick Hoyos Published: July 10, 2007

    The battle for Barbados Shipping & Trading is at the moment being fought in the media, as each major combatant tries to win public opinion over to their cause. But when the shareholders finally get the opportunity to vote on whether or not to accept any of the offers on the table, less than a dozen shareholding entities could decisively determine the vote, if they all made the same choice, as together they control nearly one-third of BS&T’s shares.

    Full Article

  16. Pingback: A Barbados Underground Commenter Has Their Say On The BS&T Merger « Barbados Underground

  17. Everybody wants a piece of Sir Allan. The DLP blog launches an assault on the BS&T Chairman under the name of a contributor T.D Allamby. We find the article interesting because David Thompson said he would stop the deal if a DLP party is given the government before the deal is done. We all know that this is political rhetoric. Where we agree with the DLP article where it mentioned that Sir Allans’s public position has softened with the irate response of barbadians to the proposed merger. Could it be that Sir Allan got a can fro King Arthur and reminded him that it is an election year?


    Let me pose these questions to Sir Alan Fields Chairman of BS&T for serious consideration. And I am doing so with the greatest of respect Sir. And the reason I am putting you on the spot is because of your venomous attack on the leader of the Opposition David Thompson when he like other Barbadians expressed serious concerns about BS&T being taken over by Ansa Mcal. But was the only one you chose to go after!

    Read Full Article

  18. If you wish to be banned from the DLP website blogs, just post complimentary remarks about the late Mr. Errol Barrow, or support for Mr. David Thompson. This is unity??? David Thompson had better watch his back.

  19. R. Valdez, I have tried to post a comment on the DLP blog too, but was unsuccessful. It seems as if a T.D. Allamby, with at times lewd wording, has the monopoly on that site. Do they want our votes? Apparently not.

  20. Pingback: The Varying BS&T Agendas: Another BU “Commenter” Has More Questions Than Answers~Who Is Looking After The Interest Of The Small Shareholders? « Barbados Underground

  21. Pingback: Neal & Massy About To Take-off The Gloves:Hostile Take-over Imminent~Will Sir Allan Fields Quit The BS&T Board? « Barbados Underground

  22. Stop and think about it. Aman who for years spearheaded the organisation responsible for most of the spiraling food costs in Barbados just to build an empire.
    Are we supposed to expect any loyalty to Barbados and Bajans? I would say of course not. He is a business man first, a weasel next and then somewhere down the line, a Bajan. He played it like a game of monopoly, drained the bank with bad decisions, safeguarding his personal benefits first.
    Well the game is over, he is older now and has gained what in his estimation is an abundance of success, so why not sell his bat and ball, sellout the Team and to hell with the spectators who payed high prices to keep the game going.
    I would say we still have the upper hand. If it goes to the Trinis, Employees (all) pledge to take your 21 sick days per year (sick or not). Only give what is due. But hey maybe we will allow them to replace the workforce with Trinis who cant stand to live in their Hellhole any longer.
    Lets picket, lets threaten to boycott, lets explain to the PM that its nice to be fair but only when fair play comes from the other side also.

    Bajans wake up we have the upper hand.

  23. Now that the two Trinidadian companies are pulling out from taking over BS&T I hope the board will do the right thing and resign.

  24. We are told here in Barbados that mergers and aquisitions are a reality of the twenty first century so get use to it. And there is some truth to that.

    But a few days ago I was sent an Editorial by a good friend that appeared in the Toronto Star Newspaper. And let me share in brief with you what that editorial said.

    Canada and the Canadian Government has become very concerned about the number of significant and diverse Canadian Industries that have been taken over in recent years by Foreign interests. And is launching an investigation into the matter.

    Canada feels that the loss of major diverse resource Industries to foreign interests through mergers and aqusitions is seriously eroding the Nations control over several of its key economic sectors and is becoming a threat to its National best interests and security.

    Intersting stuff! And stuff that small Nations like Barbados might be well advised to pay attention to!

    When Foreign interests own most of your real estate and key industry they own the heart of your Nation and they call the shots.

  25. It’s now 2015…BS&T is no more ……are there any insider trading laws in BIM that have been violated?

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