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Bahamas Development Bank appoints first female managing director

The Bahamas Development Bank has announced the appointment of Arinthia S. Komolafe as the bank’s managing director and chief executive officer, effective September 16, 2013.

The appointment of Komolafe, an attorney and banker, comes as the government seeks to refocus and reposition the bank by broadening its range of activities beyond its primary purpose of extending debt financing to small business owners to include 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 realize their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Calvin Knowles, chairman of the bank.

“Mrs. Komolafe has also been guaranteed the full support of the Ministry of Finance as communicated to the board of directors.”

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 revitalize this significant institution to serve the needs of 21st century Bahamas, while addressing the current challenges facing the bank.”

Komolafe is a corporate and commercial attorney, banker and small business and estate planning consultant. A graduate of C.R. Walker Secondary School, Komolafe studied accounting and finance at The College of The Bahamas and the American Intercontinental University in London, England.

She obtained her bachelor of laws degree from the University of Buckingham and completed postgraduate studies at BPP Law School in London, England.

She was called to the Bar of England & Wales and The Bahamas Bar in 2003 and is a member of the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

In the same year, she was licensed as a notary public. Komolafe successfully completed all the diplomas for the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners program in 2010 and is currently enrolled in the Chartered Banker MBA program.

A member of the Securities Commission of The Bahamas’ board, 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.

She has participated in a number of working groups of the Bahamas Financial Services Board and has years of experience in the financial services industry with extensive experience in corporate management and governance, securities and fund administration as well as commercial and private banking. Komolafe completed her pupillage at the law chambers of E.P. Toothe & Associates.

As an attorney, she practiced civil litigation and specialized in trusts, company law, real property, contract law, administrative law, commercial law and personal injury.

She also presided over conveyance and mortgage transactions as well as the formation and administration of corporate structures, trusts and wills.

Her duties required her to engage in active communication with personnel at various regulatory agencies as well as third party professionals on behalf of domestic and international clients.

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

A devout Christian, nationalist and avid commentator on economic, political and social matters, she speaks conversational French and basic Spanish.

Komolafe is affiliated with several charities in the local community and is a member of the National Women’s Advisory Council and a participant in the Bureau of Women’s Affairs in The Bahamas.

She is married to Emmanuel O. Komolafe and they are proud parents of three children, Morgan Elizabeth, Alexandria Grace and Joshua Oluseyi.

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

The Bahamas Development Bank, a wholly owned government institution, was established in 1974 by an act of Parliament. It became operational on July 21, 1978.

The bank provides funding in the agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, services, tourism and transportation sectors.

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