What If Ralph Taylor Was the CEO Instead of Anthony King~Would Barbados Shipping And Trading Find Itself In This Predicament?

The current bid war for the island’s lone conglomerate continues to be the talking point in Barbados. BU see one of the many positives to have emerged as the kick in the ass which a passive Barbados public and business community needed to get. If we are to compete in the world we have to efficiently manage our resources__it is not business as usual my friends! The energy rich Trinidadians companies have shown that they are willing to eat-up the spineless Barbadian companies who up to now have been happy to sit and milk a domestic market.

We hear you Bush Tea and we know what you are going to say. The reality is that the directorate of Barbados is marching to the beat of globalization; that means entities within our Caribbean structures must follow the leader.

Listening to the recent debate a further concern was triggered regarding the make-up of the directorship of Barbados Shipping and Trading and whether it reflects an accurate mix of the population, our interpretation is that race is not the only factor being considered. BU list the current directors for your information and ask our readers to evaluate for themselves whether there has been enough democratization at the BS&T board level.

BS&T Board of Directors

G. Anthony King, BSc., MBCS CITP – Chief Executive Officer

Allan C. Fields – Chairman

Dave A. Blackman – Executive Director

Philip F.D. Corbin – Executive Director

Frere F.C. Delmas – Executive Director

Ralph W. Taylor, M.H.C.I.M.A., C.H.A. – Non-executive Director

Paul B. Altman, BCH – Non-executive Director

Bernard S. Dulal-Whiteway F.C.C.A. – Non-executive Director

Sandra K. Osborne BSc. LL.B – Non-executive Director

Peter G. Symmonds, LL.B, LL.M, J.P. – Non-executive Director

Christian D. Maingot – Non-executive Director

Let us dispense with our usual preamble and cut to the point! The strategy of any company can always be tied to the Chief Executive officer. So what do we know about the CEO of BS&T Anthony King:


G. Anthony King, BSc., MBCS CITP

Position: Chief Executive Officer – B. S. & T

Date of birth: 12 November 1952

Nationality: Barbadian

Mr. Anthony King assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer on October 1, 2004.


Educated first at Harrison College in Barbados, Mr. King then attended the University of Essex, England where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Computer Science. He was subsequently admitted to membership of the British Computer Society ultimately being accorded Chartered status as an Information Technology Professional. Over the years, he has also undertaken various training in management, finance and marketing.


Mr. King began his business career in a technical capacity and then moved into sales, eventually progressing into management. After some five years with an international computer manufacturer, he joined the Neal & Massy (N&M) Group in 1981 as the General Manager of a subsidiary and rose to positions of increasing seniority including Chief Executive Officer of various N&M companies and then Chairman of Neal & Massy’s group of companies in the Eastern Caribbean. While he has now relinquished his directorships of all Neal & Massy subsidiaries, he currently serves on the Boards of a select number of other companies.

As at the date of his appointment to BS&T, his business career has spanned almost 29 years – many of which were spent overseeing or being a Director of a range of businesses in the Eastern Caribbean, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana and the French Caribbean territories. These companies’ business activities, at one time or another, encompassed Information Technology, Manufacturing, the Retailing and Distribution of Food & Consumer Products, Building Supplies, Pharmaceuticals and Agrochemicals as well as services such as Shipping, Property Development, Financial Services and Security Services.

Other Interests

Complementing his wide business experience, Mr. King has also been active in the business and wider community. He served as President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry from 1996-1998, as well as on the Councils of the Barbados Employers Confederation and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC). He also represented the CAIC on the Board of the Caribbean Export Development Agency and has represented the Caribbean’s business interests at various meetings of Caribbean/Latin America Action (C/LAA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Business Forum and on various committees of Caricom. He meanwhile continues to participate in the local community as a Trustee of the Barbados Youth Business Trust and a Director of the Barbados Cadet Association Inc.

At one time an avid sailor, Mr. King now plays golf in his spare time and, when the opportunity allows, he enjoys downhill skiing. He also likes traveling and is a member of the World Wildlife Fund as well as a Life Member of the Barbados National Trust.

He is married and has one son.


It appears at a glance that Mr. King’s resume is very well displayed; although we were tempted to say padded! A simple comment from BU. Would the shareholders of BS&T have been wrong to expect that Mr. King with his vast experience, acquired while working for NEAL & MASSY, should have been able to mobilize BS&T as a regional force?

BU know so!

So far we have not had any discussion about non-traditional candidates for the job of CEO at the BS&T. We hold no brief for Ralph Taylor and in fact we know little about the man. We however have looked at his public track record of performance at Almond Hotel, especially his drive to make it a Pan-Caribbean hotel. We have observed his involvement in agencies domestic, regional and international. We notice the comfort with which he operates at the highest levels of officialdom and the question keeps arising__ if Ralph Taylor was CEO of BS&T, where would the company be positioned today?


So whose BIO is the more impressive?


Ralph W. Taylor, MBA, CHA, MCHIMA, JP

Chairman & Managing Director Almond Resorts Inc.

Ralph Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Almond Resorts Inc. and Chairman of Caribbean Hotel Association Charitable Trust is credited with introducing the all-inclusive resort concept to Barbados.

Taylor established himself first in the area of hospitality accounting and finance, and later as a professional hotelier. He is an experienced hotelier with wealth of knowledge in the hospitality industry.


He is a former Deputy Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority and past Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Minister of Tourism in Barbados. He is also a former Chairman of the Barbados National Tourism Marketing Committee, as well as Chairman of the Caribbean Marketing Trust. He was the first Divisional Chairman of Tourism for Barbados Shipping & Trading, the sixth largest conglomerate in the Caribbean and sits as a Director of the Company’s parent board. He has served as president of the Barbados Hotel Association and Chairman of the Tourism Development Corporation. He is a longstanding Director of the Caribbean Hotel Association. In 1994 he was recognized in Barbados as Business Executive of the year and elected Caribbean Hotelier of the Year for 1995. He was the President of the Caribbean Hotel Association from 2000-2002.


Ralph Taylor is an avid golfer, and holds an appointment as Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the Hotel Catering Institute Management Association (MHCIMA), and holds the designation of Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) from the educational institution of the American Hotel and Motel School. Mr. Taylor received his MBA from Bradford University in the United Kingdom.

Mr.King’s write-up looks very impressive when compared to Mr.Taylor but then again it depends what one is looking for. We all remember when BS&T was seeking to dump its Almond shares a few years ago. We also remembered the dumping of Neal & Massy shares. What is it about this BS&T board which makes them want to sell their most valuable assets? At BU we sense that the entrepreneurial approach by Mr. Taylor at Almond (BS&T owns 42% of Almond Resorts) is light years ahead of Mr. King’s rather bureaucratic upbringing. We agree with Hilford Murrell’s view expressed on radio that if all offers are rejected by the shareholders of BS&T we will see the shedding of the current group of the incumbent bed fellows.

Mr Hilford Murrell why are you suddenly singing the praises of the Republic Bank’s ownership of Barbados National Bank and its success? BNB was on a upward path before RBL took majority share ownership. Besides, people in the market tell BU that BNB does not have to compete for government business, it is still the government’s bank of choice and get to pick all the juicy deals. The latest appear to be the Sapphire Project!

We also know that it’s juicy proposition to sit on the BNB board.

Whether Ralph Taylor was offered the job and he refused would poke our justification for his elevation with a big hole However we feel that even if he had refused such an offer the public declaration of it would do good to create transparency and embolden a distrustful public of our publicly listed companies. The fact that BS&T is the company under the microscope makes for even more distrust.

Related BU Stories

Sir Allan Fields The Man Behind The Orchestration To Dump Barbados Shipping And Trading To The Trinidadians
Senator Lynette Eastmond Shut Up!
Prime Minister Arthur Prefers A Neal And Massy Deal~Barbados Underground Say So
BS&T Going, Going, Soon To Be Gone~ The Advocate Newspaper Should Go Too


21 thoughts on “What If Ralph Taylor Was the CEO Instead of Anthony King~Would Barbados Shipping And Trading Find Itself In This Predicament?

  1. One gets the impression that Mr. King was “sent” to BS&T to pave the way for what we are seeing now.
    Furthermore, his track record though appear impressive at least on paper, does not say anything about actual performance. Was he at anytime responsible for any expansion and growth of anything? Did he during those “impressive” years turn around anything? Is there anything we the public can point to that has his signature on it and say that it was a success?
    Those jobs at the top in certain organisations seem to go to only a certain type.
    I could be wrong, but nothing about this deal smells right. Sumting aint right bout dis ting.

  2. David,
    If appointments were made in Barbados on the basis of competence and ability to perform, then this would be a very different Barbados. I can assure you that the racial make-up of many organisations (not only BS&T but many others from BL&P to SOL) would more reflect that of this country.
    In the old days when connections mattered, this cliqueish approach may have worked well for the clique, but competition is a different matter.
    Look at the history of lucky BARTEL if you doubt me…
    And David it is not only (or even mostly) about race, the question of the fraternities and lodges also play a role in making us UNREADY for competition.
    This is just the start – it going be cat piss and pepper ’bout here soon..

  3. I’m not sure if the question of whether Taylor would have been better at BS&T is a relevant one. The two companies aren’t directly comparable (e.g. being very good at running a tourism group isn’t the same as being good at retail distribution) but Ralph Taylor IS an exceptional manager and entrepreneur and by most measures has been more successful than Anthony King. I see what you’re trying to do here but let’s not turn this one into a “black manager better than white manager” story. The incestuous BS&T set up (I think it’s more down to family than race but that’s only my opinion and you could certainly argue that it was always ‘old school’) has something to do with their failure but alot of Barbados companies run by all sorts of flavours of Barbadians have also failed to expand regionally. Perhaps we should look to the education system and insular outlook which is all too often, “If i can make a good living in Barbados, why bother looking outside ?”. And see where that’s got business in Bim…

  4. James~no where have we suggested that we are playing a race card. Taylor’s drive to expand in the region is refreshing when compared to King. As far as we are concerned Taylor is distributing a service and King is distributing commodities. At his level he has technocrats who are required to know the nuts and bolts of the business. The CEOs role is strategic is it not?

    Taylor has a demonstrated track record of success in an area that is competitive and volatile.

  5. I just love how the political class, the merchant class and the landed gentry changes the tune base on their own personal interest. When the WTO had finalize it’s positions on tariffs and trade for the new globalized markets, and had issued deadlines to member countries to have their markets fully liberalized. We heard back then, from the afore mention classes of the need to protect Barbadian businesses, and jobs from large foriegn interest. Today and at a time when it suites that the corporate class, Barbadians are being reminded that BS&T is a private company who’s corporate managers must look out for it’s shareholders interest. Forget about protecting our market to protect our local companies and jobs until they are ready to compete in a gloabalized economy. All of a sudden unless you are a shareholder it’s none of our business.

  6. Adrian~good point! The big issue for BU has to do with which companies Barbados is prepared to label as “national assets”. Even our friends from the N.America and England have to admit that there are untouchable companies in those countries. With the sale of BNB and the willingness to sell our only conglomerate and second largest employer our government is saying we are for sale to the highest bidder. Although Latin America is filled with dictators their nationalist polies we admire.

  7. Peltdown, I’m judging BS&T on their financial performance relative to practically everyone else but particularly the Trinnies. Their returns are poor and they were the same size as Neal & Massey a few years ago. Non-financially, their inability to look beyond Barbados is simply incompetent – if you’re as big as BS&T in a relatively small market, you need to go outside in order to grow.
    And fair point BU – a good manager is a good manager at the level of a CEO of a large company. Still, I maintain that the challenges and industry structure are very different and I’d still find it difficult to make an informed comparison between the two. That said, I can think of few businessmen I really admire and Ralph Taylor is at the top of the list by some way.

  8. The BLP in it’s latest blog post, brags about the size of our middleclass as compared to other caribbean countries. I ask before, if one of the attendents to having such are large middleclass base is a higher wages bill for companies operating in such a market. Does this help point to the partial reason for Trinidadian companies profitability, and does this not demand serious concerns for Barbadian employees yet untouched by cheap migrant labour? Those Barbadians in the retail sector, be it banking, food, tourism, oil production etc need to join with your already suffering brothers and sisters in the argricultural and contruction sectors . Neal and Massey and Ansa Mcal are in the afore mention sectors and there will be nothing to stop them for using CSME to reduce their labour cost in their Barbadian owned companies to effect a healthy bottom line. They will tell you that their shareholders demand that they do this.

  9. “This is like deja vu all over again.” Yogi Berra!

    Hello David,
    I prefer to see this in different terms, hence my caption. How many of you remember Plantations Trading Co., Ltd. These two companies were always competitors. I worked for PTCL for almost two decades before moving to the US; back then I was a shareholder and rather than take a dividend would roll it over year after year for the purchase of additional shares even after coming here. They invested in CLICO, a then one door insurance company. Then CLICO moved into one of the buildings owned by PTCL, suddenly we heard the company was not doing well and CLICO made a bid to purchase the Company.
    Some Board members were about to retire and had to have their “Golden Parachute”. You asked; What is it with BS&T wanting to sell their assets, if you checked their Annual Reports since 2002 to 2006 (I’ve got them all), see a ref copy of each; notice what they said in 2003 when they divested themselves of 50% of Neal & Messy’s shares.
    Something of note, that was the last year for Chairman David Bynoe and a “Golden Parachute” had to be provided; the end of this financial year is Sir. Alan Fields’ last year and another Parachute have to be provided. You asked about the two Director’s credentials (Taylor and King) have a look at the entire board and you would not find anyone with the kind of Project Development background which is required to undertake their next BIG project; “The Pierhead Development Project”.
    I have included the latest Chairman’s report FYI. I think this is where Ansa McAl sees the value in BS&T, and offered $7.00 cash as a first offer; trust me, they are willing to pay $10.00. Their first offer will be turned down by the board and they are willing to make another offer in an attempt to embarrass the BS&T board. You see N&M is committed and Ansa McAl will have them pay a premium. Those bast**** have shown their playbook and Ansa McAl have studied it.
    Someone should send each member of those two boards a copy of the movie, “Wall Street” starring Michael “Greed is good” Douglas, and make it required viewing. They have been played! The Consortium has got to know they are in over their heads and should take their profits and credit themselves for they effort and increased share value.
    NB: Ansa McAl owns a company called Promenade Development which has the capacity to undertake that project without going outside the company.
    BU: Sorry for the long post, I’ve said quite a bit for now and will let others weigh in. This is good stuff!!!

    As reported by CEO King 2004

    Chairman’s report 2005

  10. demarlehole~your account meshes with ours. It hurts like hell to admit it but the high level of cronyism, nepotism and “inbred” management as practiced by the BS&T board over the years reflects on all Barbadians. This is a company which has been mentioned repeatedly which controlls vital sectors of the Barbados economy, especially distribution. Some would say that its the shares which are undervalued and not the assets of the company but we know how easy it is to persuade accountants over a cocktail to certify the balance sheet which the Board prefers. In the same way the size of a Wal-mart has influenced the economy of the USa so too BS&T over the years could have done a similar thing in Barbados. Instead it elected to be the playground of a small band of men whose objective was to pull the puppet strings and become fat of the people of Barbados.

    At the end of it all we have to eat!

  11. Ralph Taylor was indeed being proposed to serve as CEO and as I understand it all efforts were successful in keeping him from serving in that capacity. Didn’t Barbados lose T Geddes Grant under Mr Anthony King? Why not give him a bigger Corporation to run!!Taylor would have been the best option in my view to move B S and T AND Barbados forward. Note that St.Lucia is using his expertise as a member of their Tourism Board..

  12. Interesting points BU. How do you reconcile your attack on Tony King with the facts. Trading profit under King surged from $21M to $47M 2005-2006, an increase of 124%. And this continues in the first half of 2007, increasing from $26M to $31M. He is making the existing assets work.

    How do you reconcile the fact that BS&T under King over the last two years has invested over $50M in investments in the region. King has expanded the company into supermarkets and distribution in St. Lucia and the Bahamas, in growing Magna into Jamaica and Trinidad, in taking United into new territories in the Bahamas and Trinidad. And yes bringing BS&T together with Goddards to provide funding for Almond’s investments in St. Lucia and at Cassaurina.

    It’s time that you were a little more fair and balanced.

  13. Get In The Action~We calling it like we see it! If you disagree that is fine too because we welcome all views. We want to know how much of the profit you mentioned can be attributed to profit on the sale of assets. Secondly if BS&T is divided into profit centres which division of the company is responsible for a greater % of the profit? In other words is it true to say that the finacial arm of the company is responsible for a significantly proportional slice of the profit. Why then would BS&T expand its distribution arm if its assets are not being as efficient given the thin margins? About MAGNA is it not true to say that the expansion of MAGNA was a project well in place before King arrived at the company and it would be unfair to attribute the expansion to his effort alone?

    It is interesting that you talk about the capitalization of Almond because if we remember correctly BS&T wanted to dump thier interest in Almond not too long ago. What was responsible for the turn around in such a short time? It reflects a blurred vision in the opinion of BU. Look forward to your response.

  14. David,

    I am a little saddened that you seem to continue to see this whole issue of globalization and competition is so academic a light. The approach that you seem to portray is one of debating possible options.
    The reality, David, is that this is war, the final global war that is now approaching fever pitch.
    Ever since VIETNAM, perceptive persons could see that the nature of war needed to change. The days of bombing enemy into submission and overrunning their territory with soldiers are long gone. (Of course some idiots like George Bush could not see this and needed Iraq to show them that a fool is someone who does not learn from history)

    War in the 21st century is being waged by trade, economic domination, policy imposition and cultural penetration. The consequences of defeat are just as dire as always, but most persons are not even aware that they are being conquered. (or even who the enemies are)

    So issues of managing national economies, maximizing resource utilization, and resisting external domination are front line issues of national self defense. I actually find it quite funny that we expect that foreign interest will come to Barbados, take control of our assets and will then use these assets to ensure the long term interest of Bajans and their children because they cannot help but love us and want nothing but our best interest.

    How BS&T is run, and who runs it, who controls our financial and energy sectors and who controls our food production; imports and retailing are all important factors in the war for our future. There is nothing more critical to our future as a viable nation. We need to be concerned about who these people are, how there are selected and how they are performing.
    This thing is serious David – life and death serious

  15. Amen! Bush Tea,

    This time the battle is between two Trinidian titans Neal & Massy and Ansa McAl; in an attempt to position themselves for CSME being faught on the tiny island of Barbados.

  16. Bush Tea~I don’t know that we are that far apart. However I have asked you in the past to address the fact that successive governments have all been married to the idea of fully participating in the free economy created by the G8, so where does that put us in a society that prefer not to discuss geo-political issues but prefer to languish in the arena of corn beef and buscuits? How are companies like BS&T and others which operate and control key sectors of the economy suppose to operate? How are they being betrayed by what our silent friend Professor Howard would call policy formulation by our governments educated many of them at universities which have educated them into submission? So many questions, so few answers so little time…sigh.

  17. David,
    What successive governments what?!?
    Since the advent of Globalization (say since the 1980’s) this country has been run by an interesting group of people. Well meaning, intelligent, educated and cultured… but not really very smart, not having any real vision and certainly not independent in thought. When it wasn’t the IMF telling us what to do or not do, it was the World bank redesigning our education system because they provided loans, or simply some man or woman from England, Canada or the USA who labeled them self as a consultant.
    We followed blindly therefore when we were sold on the developmental path that defined success as having a car in each garage, a graduate in each home and infrastructure and lifestyles that looks just like we see on Hollywood movie sets.
    Of course this meant loans and grants from international bankers. These come with strings such as signing on to various treaties and accords etc. In short time we had effectively lost control.
    Take Education; we moved to co-education because the sissy World Bank said we had to. This was even though our then education system was better than those in most of these ‘developed countries’.
    You get my drift? Our successive governments did NOT choose to engage in any free trade, they drifted into that decision by signing treaties that they hardly read and never understood. How you think the Chinese got here? They gave us the Gymnasium (which looses two Million dollars per year) and in exchange we allowed them to operate a construction company here. Then they join the CDB and contribute a few million dollars and got us to sign a contract which now allows them to pay Chinese rates in the region while competing with our people for work. (Now THAT is what I call smart thinking for a country with a gazillion people)

    My point is that we were dragged into globalization by blind leaders who were only focused on getting their hands on some quick dollars for ‘projects and consultancies’
    Not that getting into Globalization, is wrong or even avoidable, but it was unplanned and we were not prepared for the result (thus the unexplainable Chinese ‘problem’)

    So now we are in a war. With our hands tied behind our backs, and with the enemy operating on our shores. Even worse, many of our leaders are unwitting enemy PR agents – trying to convince us that these people taking our jobs, our land and our assets are our friends and will treat us well –if only we let them have their way.

    China will become the next global power because they understand the rules of this new world War. We may not like the tactics being used; The West is fighting back by labeling China as child labour exploiters, dangerous products producers and generally bad people…. But then again the basic rule of life has always been – All is fair in love and War…or you can ask the Iraqi insurgents about the successful use of unfair tactics

  18. David

    Trading Profit, as I understand it from their annual report has nothing to do with proceeds from asset sales. This is simply the trading profit from the existing businesses, and as I highlighted the last annual report shows an increase of 124% over 2005. On the breakdown by subsidiary the annual report does not show this detail, but I agree that as a shareholder I would assume that the financial elements of BS&T, United etc probably contributed more than the lower margin food operations.

    Magna had expanded into St. Lucia before King’s arrival, but Jamaica and Trinidad came under his tenure. And lastly, it is unfair to imply King’s involvement when BS&T considered offers from suitors for their shares in Almond several years ago. He was nowhere around at the time, and if my memory is correct, the rational given by the board at the time may have been directed by Almond’s performance – influenced by 911 downturn in tourism. Would have been short-sighted given Almond’s current results.

  19. Get In The Action~thanks for your feedback. We will accept your word that the profit which you stated was trading only. We notice that you did not respond on the issue of King continuing a strategy of pursuing assets in the distribution sector when this is the portfolio which has carries a high operating efficiency ratio. Also you did not address the issue that under Kings tenure the share price has not reflected the true value of the company. We will not accept that the markets have suffered downturns, for BS&T stock to move from $8.00 two years ago to$5+ is still not acceptable. Why did King agree to a deal to sell an obviously under valued company to N&M? Could it be that N&M was prepared to trigger the takeover code? On the question of MAGNA it is our information that the brand partner a company called PRISM has been at the vanguard of growing that brand with BS&T playing a supporting role (if our source is wrong we apologize to Mr. King).

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