The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE), formerly the Securities Exchange of Barbados, was re-incorporated on August 2, 2001 with the passage of the Securities Act 2001-13, which also enabled the establishment of the Barbados Securities Commission which, on April 1st, 2011 was subsumed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The Commission is responsible for regulation of the Barbados Capital Market, including all public companies whether listed or not.
The Barbados Stock Exchange and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Barbados Central Securities Depository (BCSDI) are designated as Self Regulatory Organizations (SROs) under the Securities Act 2001-13 but are regulated in turn as well by the Financial Services Commission.
The original trading facility, the Securities Exchange of Barbados, was established in 1987 under the Securities Exchange Act, Cap 318A, of 1982. The Securities Act 2001-13 repealed and replaced the original Act of 1982.
Over the years, the Barbados Stock Exchange and its forerunner – the Securities Exchange of Barbados – has been served with some outstanding Chairpersons. Their respective tenures are as follows:
- Colin Goddard June 1, 1987 – December 17, 1997
- Shastrie Ablack December 17, 1997 to November 1998
- Neville Smith June 18, 1999 – May 4, 2000
- Patricia Downes-Grant July 14, 2000 – November 23, 2004
- Andrew St. John November 23, 2004 – March 12, 2009
- Grenville Philips March 12, 2009 – July 14, 2016
Our current Chairman is Mr. Randall Belgrave, Q.C., who assumed the Chair at the Board Meeting of July 14, 2016.
The Exchange has been ably served by its three General Managers and one Acting General Manager over its twenty-five-year history.
Mr. Anthony Johnson served as the Exchange’s first General Manager, from February 1, 1986 to June 30, 1994. Mr. Johnson was responsible for the setting up the Securities Exchange of Barbados and he saw the first trades occur on June 12, 1987.
He was followed by Mrs. Virginia Mapp who served from September 1, 1994 to December 31, 2002. Mrs. Mapp was responsible for the transition of the Exchange from the Securities Exchange of Barbados to the Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. on August 2, 2001 and also the move from an open out-cry method of trading to full electronic trading.
During 2003, from January 1, 2003 to October 31, 2003, Ms. Tessa Pickering acted as General Manager. During this period Ms. Pickering oversaw an important change within the electronic trading engine with the introduction of the tightly-coupling system. This system ensures that trades are transmitted as “matched” transactions, i.e., that details of the trades from buyer and seller have already been matched (and verified) by the computer.
The Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. is presently led by Mr. Marlon E. Yarde who assumed the General Manager position from November 1st, 2003. Mr. Yarde is tasked – in accordance with the organization’s stated mission – with preserving confidence and trust in Barbados’ capital markets. This mandate is achieved through the BSE’s organizational commitment to educating the public on both the historical and contemporary roles of the Exchange. To be sure, the Exchange’s role as an educator is a necessary prerequisite for securing the public’s participation in the trading of financial instruments.
Under Mr. Yarde’s watch, the BSE has successfully implemented two new software systems – Percival Software Limited’s Depend depository solution and Trayport’s Global Vision securities trading solution. Mr. Yarde continues to work tirelessly to see the formation of the Caribbean Exchange Network (CXN); the Regional Capital Market and the establishment of the International Securities Market (ISM).
Prior to its demutualization – on December 22nd, 2015 – the BSE remained a privately owned (by its Members), non-profit organization. Now demutualized, the BSE moves forward as a shareholder-owned, for-profit company and the central marketplace for securities trading. There are currently 27 listed companies on the Board of the BSE including 4 cross-listed companies from within CARICOM but outside of Barbados.
Through a Managing Director, the strategic direction of the BSE is administered by a Board of Directors. The Board of the BSE consists of four designated members, four elected and one independent. The four designated members represent, the Central Bank of Barbados, the Bar Association, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Institute of Bankers. The elected members are chosen from the Membership of the Stock Exchange.
The Board of Directors set By-Laws and Rules to regulate the affairs and business of the Exchange. Included in the By-Laws and Rules are standards and rules of conduct to which members must adhere. Only Registered Brokers, representing Members of the BSE are allowed to trade securities on the Exchange.
On April 2nd, 2019 the Barbados Stock Exchange was designated as a Recognized Stock Exchange by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom.
The Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. is an Affiliate Member of the World Federation of Exchanges and has signed Memorandums of Cooperation (MoCs) with the:
- London Stock Exchange (LSE)
- Guyana Association of Securities Companies and Intermediaries Inc. (GASCI)
- Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).