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Lorna G. Smith Out! Elise Donovan In! as new BVI Finance Boss

- Mrs Smith, the wife of Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith, giving up the post after almost 2 years as interim Director; but not until October 1, 2017
Effective October 1, 2017 Ms Elise Donovan will be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BVI Finance, replacing retired civil servant and First Lady Mrs Lorna G. Smith OBE, right. Photo: VINO/File
Former Permanent Secretary, Mr Julian Willock has in the past vigorously defended the Virgin Islands' financial services industry internationally. Photo: VINO/File
Former Permanent Secretary, Mr Julian Willock has in the past vigorously defended the Virgin Islands' financial services industry internationally. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It has taken almost over a year and months to find a new Director for BVI Finance, a statutory body funded by both the Government and the private sector.

It was in May of 2016 that retired civil servant and First Lady Mrs Lorna G. Smith OBE was named as the “interim” Director of BVI Finance, as it was claimed by some at the time that there were “no one else qualified to run the body”.

And its Elise Donovan

However, today July 20, 2017 in a press statement the Organisation announced the appointment of Elise Donovan as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). But she will not take office until October 1, 2017, one year and six months later since Mrs Smith, a former Permanent Secretary, was returned to the post.

Ms Donovan, an indigenous Virgin Islander who is currently the head of the BVI House Asia, will leave that post to fill her new role.

Our National Democratic Party (NDP) sources told our newroom three persons have been short-listed to take over from Ms Donovan, one who currently works at the BVI House Asia.

She is ready

According to the press release, “Donovan brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise, including having previously served as Director of the BVI International Affairs Secretariat, Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre (the forerunner to BVI Finance) and a member of the BVI’s Tax Information Exchange Agreement Negotiating Team with countries such as China, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand and Canada."

Ms Donovan also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Carleton University and Columbia University, in International Relations.

BVI Finance is the agency which market, promote and manage the reputation of the VI’s financial services industry.

The sector has come under fire over the past four years with the international press and developed countries calling the Virgin Islands (VI) a tax haven and a place for dirty money and corruption.

A private citizen, businessman, political aspirant and former Permanent Secretary, Julian Willock, was interviewed by BBC in 2016 and National Public Radio in 2017 where he vigorously defended the industry, and the right of the people of the VI to engage in legal, well-regulated and needed business.

29 Responses to “Lorna G. Smith Out! Elise Donovan In! as new BVI Finance Boss”

  • ccc (20/07/2017, 17:00) Like (49) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its about time!
  • LS (20/07/2017, 17:09) Like (62) Dislike (3) Reply
    She going still run the show
  • Nic (20/07/2017, 17:31) Like (54) Dislike (0) Reply
    She needs to step down fron being the Premier too.
    • @ nic (20/07/2017, 19:26) Like (54) Dislike (7) Reply
      cows will fly over the moon before that happens
      • Nic (20/07/2017, 19:54) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
        You stay there ...when God say enough he means it....more to come
      • @@ nic (21/07/2017, 10:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        "cows will fly over the moon before that happens", lol I like that ha ha ha, you sound like Andrew lol I can't stop laughing but true though!
        • Nic (22/07/2017, 08:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
          You wouldnt want to see cows fly over the moon ...beacuse you all will get a heart attack .
  • JACK BE STILL (20/07/2017, 18:03) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    thank god at least this appointment is not conflict of interest
  • snake (20/07/2017, 18:16) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
  • chad (20/07/2017, 19:12) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    God should be a capital G
  • face (20/07/2017, 19:33) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look she face
    • another million (20/07/2017, 20:29) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Make no mistake--This gang and their swamp team are up to something.
  • good book (20/07/2017, 20:32) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
    Willock is the man he can speak internationally and saved us after the panama papers
  • Scary Mary (20/07/2017, 20:34) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    I'm no fan of Elise so it's hard to feel sorry for her, but I do, as her hands will be tied
  • Interesting (20/07/2017, 21:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anything is possible when you abandon your post.
  • The Judge (20/07/2017, 21:56) Like (11) Dislike (13) Reply
    People you don't have to love someone to give them their due respect. Mrs Lorna Smith has served this country well and she deserves respect. In spite of we coming here on blog and saying bad things, she would one day receive a medal from the queen. Mark my word.
    • Reply (21/07/2017, 07:57) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      most people help self and country at the same time!
      • The Judge (21/07/2017, 10:26) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
        Don't forget to include yourself. You all are eyes are open and still blind, your ears are cocked and still can't hear. This lady have done so much for this country but we have the heart to drag her through the street just like they did Jesus. Let Jack carry home his Jacket people.
        • FYI (22/07/2017, 06:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          She was paid for the job she did...She didn't do it for free....We don't owe her anything
  • Stop the games. (20/07/2017, 22:53) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    We all know that this is a dumb strategy to ease the beating the NDP is about to get with hopes that they win the next election then she will be right back there again. Somebody please tell this gang that we are not fools like they think.
  • Political Observer (PO) (21/07/2017, 06:28) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lorna Hodge Smith may have had the education, training, knowledge and experience to serve effectively in the position. Nonetheless, the blatant conflict of interest was corrosive and not consistent with the norms of good governsnce. Leaders/managers/supervisors must set the personal example; this was a poor personal example.

    If the Premier blatantly violates the norms of good governance, as well as the personal example, it gives others license to do the same. The Premier must be ethical and set the personal example. Running for elected office to serve the people comes with personal sacrifices. Family members foregoing certain jobs is one of those personal sacrifices. Anyone that cannot or is unwilling to endure the personal sacrifices should not run for political office.

    Moreover, there seems to be a tendency in the VI to go to a chosen few for everything. But there are more than a handful of quslified people . In any event, if people are not given the opportunity to excel, how are they to get the experience. Depending on a chosen few is not in the best long interest of the VI.

    As an example, the late John Compton, for Premier, having served St. Lucia for over 30 years retired to a life of leasure. However, his party struggled and he had to be recruited to rescue it; the party won the election but Compton passed on in office. This was an example of poor succession planning. We must avoid the fear of teaching others, for they may take our positions. We must adopt the attiude of each one teach one . Just a likle lesson from the Underground Railroad in the US, I think.
  • HAHA (21/07/2017, 09:07) Like (7) Dislike (11) Reply
    Why envy people for their God giving gift. Lorna is a well rounded lady. Poor ayo.
  • Spay (22/07/2017, 08:37) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    You can be well rounded ...but doing the right thing is wshst we here talking about have to think about how what you are doing will effect others.....for example putting people in positions who has no training and can't handle the job....and treating the employees they meet there any old how ....that's not when you are in here' commenting half of the story you don't know seeing or know the one side
  • wize up (22/07/2017, 12:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    politically speaking!!!
  • one love (23/07/2017, 22:52) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mrs. Lorna Smith got the job because she was indeed the best locally qualified person. She ought to be congratulated for her commitment and dedication to the job! Thank you and well done Lorna. Congratulations Ms Donovan and best wishes.

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