CLICO Insurance Executive Appointed Chairman Of Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Leroy Parris

Prime Minister David Thompson has announced the names of members to 12 other boards

He says cabinet is working assiduously to get the various boards in place so that the essential work of government would continue apace. Insurance executive Leroy Parris has been appointed as Chairman of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, his deputy chair is Jeanette Layne-Clarke. Other members on the CBC board are Peter Boyce, Evette King, Pastor Wesley Dear, Father Clement Paul, Muriel Sealy and the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office or his nominee.

Source: CBC

We have always wondered through the years, the criteria which successive governments in Barbados have used to appoint persons to several Boards of management charged with overseeing many of our important institutions. One such agency which has been perceived by the public to have been managed like the proverbial political football is the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). We are inclined to go along with the view that successive Barbados governments have erred on the side of caution by appointing a party lackey in light of the aversion of governments in developing states to relinquish control of state owned information entities.

We do not know what qualifies Mr. Parris for the job of Chairman above someone like Janette Layne Clarke and others, but if we were to rely on our on the ground knowledge and instinct, we must admit we don’t like the appointment. Prime Minister David Thompson gained the government to some degree on a platform of bringing change to Barbados. The Prime Minister has been in the media speaking to the number of consultants hired by the past administration which in his view added no value to the running of the government. Thompson has promised Barbadians that he will be bringing people on board who add value to the business of running the government. The appointment of Mr. Parris smacks of cronyism and begs the question what value will he be bringing to managing the problem plagued CBC. What message is the Prime Minister sending to the world and in particular the Fourth Estate, by appointing a man as Chairman of the government owned radio and TV station, known more for inflicting green verbs on anyone standing close-by.

The other concerning point about the appointment of Chairman Parris is to question whether his position as head of a CLICO company which is owned by the Trinidad conglomerate CL Financial does not create a conflict of interest situation. CL Financial owns a media company in Trinidad and a short while ago, according to our source, was known to have applied for a TV license to operate in Barbados.

The CL Financial’s Media and Communications Group, CL Communications, is comprised of one television station (ieTV); three radio stations (Music Radio 97, Ebony 104 and Radio 90.5) and a video production house (Video Associates), which has been responsible for films of international acclaim – Source: CL Financial Website.

We should take this opportunity to ask the incoming Chairman if the plan to privatize CBC is still on the cards.

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108 thoughts on “CLICO Insurance Executive Appointed Chairman Of Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

  1. I’ll say it again.

    I am NOT a “B”.

    I am not a “D”.

    I am just a ZR using ordinary Bajan.

    I am also a Clico customer.

    It is just a little health insurance policy. The policy lapsed (J is NOT rich) about a year ago and I went over to Clico’s office to reinstate the thing.

    In error I walked around to the “wrong” side of the building and I saw those 6 Mercedes’ in the sheltered parking area with a security guard keeping watch over them.

    The guard seemed to think that poor J; was about to do the Mercedes’ some harm. I don’t know why as it was high daytime and J is ALWAYS unarmed and NOT at all dangerous. But he was more than a little hostile as he approached me.

    I must say as a Clico customer I was shocked to see the 6 well guarded Mercedes’.

    When I got home I said to my “partner-in-life” that I thought that the vehicles seemed to be a bit of an excess for a company Clico’s size.

    And then last January just after the current PM was first elected I heard the
    statement from Clico Chairman Parris that the PM was “accustomed to living large”

    My question for the BU family.

    Is it possible that Clico executives have also become accustomed to “living large?”

    And if Clico Barbados runs into trouble who will rescue Clico? Those who have become accustomed to “living large” or the poor tax payers?

  2. J Peter wrote “when these big companies decide to be more efficient and do everything in house”

    Being more efficeint means doing things, faster, cheaper, and better.

    It does not mean doing everything in-house.

  3. I listened to two press conferences hosted by Leroy Parris over the last few days. Both were painful. My goodness how did this joker become head of a $1.4 billion empire. I dont know the guy but from reports he is a huge pain in the ass. His English is horrendous only eclipsed by his supreme pompousness. Parris let your executives do the talking next time. What a joke. I glad I dont have a cent at CLICO.

  4. No amount of assurance by Mr. Parris, the PM or the Governor of the Central bank, can unravel what has already been done.

    The stark reality is that not only CLICO, but BNB. Are we going through the same as the US? It means that those people who have mortgages, etc. with BNB, their houses are owned or part owned by CLICO.

    More puzzling is the talk of a bailout package. That means we are in deep and whatever assets CLICO owns across the Caribbean has to be under threat.

    Let us be realistic. If I own a company and I have a debt which I can’t pay, they are coming for my interests in that company and if that don’t cover it, they will go to another company I have interests in and do the same thing.

    Now, this is not to say that Government will not step in and save the investments of so many people, but let the truth be known. This could skin-up CLICO Barbados if the assets owned by the parent company do not cover their debts…

    but it is so funny that if you lose your job and can’t pay your debts, they come to put you in jail without “bail”, but when a set of highly paid executives do foolishness, they get a “bail-out” package????

  5. There is little to me more pleasurable than to hear someone who has a command of the English language. That said Mr Parris has not been hired to teach English. Grammatical errors aside, I believe we all understand what he intends to communicate. Mr Parris has been hired for his financial acumen and leadership ability. To date he has commended himself well with these attributes.

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