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First Female Chief Aims To 'Reinvent' Development Bank

The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) has appointed attorney Arinthia Komolafe as its first female managing director, effective from September 16, 2013.

The move comes as the Government moves to refocus the BDB’s mandate, broadening its range of activities beyond its main focus of extending debt financing to small business owners. It is now assessing the provision of equity, credit guarantees and marketing and accounting support.

“The Board of Directors fully supports this historic appointment of Mrs Komolafe as the first female managing director of the bank since its establishment in 1978, and we are hopeful that her appointment indicates the bank’s commitment to providing opportunities to both young people and women to realise their entrepreneurial dreams,” said BDB chairman Calvin Knowles.

“Mrs Komolafe has also been guaranteed the full support of the Ministry of Finance, as communicated to the Board of Directors.”

Mrs Komolafe said: “I am both delighted and privileged to lead the Bahamas Development Bank, one of the nation’s oldest institutions in a post-independent Bahamas.

“I look forward to working with the Board, the executive management team and the staff to bring about a renewed focus on the broadened mandate of the bank, and to revitalise this significant institution to serve the needs of 21st century Bahamas, while addressing the current challenges facing the bank.

“We will seek to reinvent the Bahamas Development Bank and promote the expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Bahamas. It is our goal to become more efficient and responsive to the needs of our clients by adding much-needed value in the form of enhanced business support for our existing and potential customers, while ensuring that the Bank contributes positively to the economic development of our nation.”

Mrs Komolafe succeeds Anthony Woodside, who had acted in the capacity of managing director for several years until his retirement in June 2013.

She is a corporate and commercial attorney, banker and small business and estate planning consultant.

A member of the Securities Commission of the Bahamas’ Board, Mrs Komolafe has worked for financial institutions such as Lloyds Bank, MeesPierson Fund Services, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Lombard Odier, both in the Bahamas and Switzerland.

In 2010, she established her law firm, Komolafe Law Chambers, and was licensed as a corporate service provider with a specific focus on small business creation and development, estate planning and regulatory compliance.

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