The Honourable Maurice Facey - OJ, JP
Founder of PANJAM Investment Limited (formerly Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust).
Born August 12, 1925, Maurice William Facey entered his family business with just a high school diploma from Jamaica College and a stint in the Royal Air Force from 1942 to 1946. He spent 15 years honing his skills in sales and management and in that time proved himself a true patriot, visionary and family man with strong business acumen. However, his heightened business intelligence didn’t guarantee that things would go without failure. Unbeknownst to many, during their first nine years of marriage, Maurice Facey and his wife Valerie moved house nine times, due mainly to setbacks in the businessman’s efforts. In fact, in 1956, the young Facey family actually became homeless. Facey, his wife and two children walked away from their first dream home in Norbrook, with just the clothes on their backs - leaving down to their linens and cutlery in order to help remedy a bad business transaction.
Later in 1959, against the advice of many, he sold the family business. The proceeds of £500,000 were used to start the Boswell Trust, which became the seed funds to the massive Jamaican empire that shaped and reshape the Jamaican architectural landscape. His perseverance and ingenuity led him to start PANJAM Investment Limited (formerly Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust [Pan-Jam]) in 1965 to lead his many business endeavours. That year, PANJAM was one of the first companies to be listed on the newly formed Kingston Stock Exchange. That post-Independence period was one which sanctioned the efforts to capitalise on opportunities which positively impacted Jamaica’s economic, infrastructural and social needs by businessmen and philanthropists such as Facey.
In 1966, Facey merged PANJAM with Jamaica Property Company Limited, a company he started in 1964 to expedite his dreams for property development in Jamaica. Now with the strength of the PANJAM Group, Facey was armed with the necessary corporate support system to operate in industries which spanned residential and commercial property development, hospitality, tourism and agriculture; along with his personal passions art and education all of which were entrenched in national development. The PANJAM Group grew tremendously over the next few decades, pioneering the development of high-rise buildings across the capital, Kingston and blossoming into a multi-faceted holding company with more than 20 subsidiaries — one of the largest publicly listed companies in the Caribbean.
Later on in his life, Facey’s dream of restoring downtown, Kingston to its former glory sparked the establishment of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Kingston Restoration Company (KRC) in the 1970s. In addition to the KRC, Facey contributed significantly to the public sector through volunteerism in other organisations such as the Tourism Action Plan Limited, the Jamaica Institute for Excellence in Education, the Institute of Jamaica, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the National Gallery of Jamaica, the University of the West Indies (UWI), the University of Technology (UTech) and the Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE). The accomplished Facey also chaired and sat on many private sector boards; such as the Bank of Nova Scotia, Jamaica Sugar Holdings Limited, the Agricultural Development Corporation, The Gleaner Company, the Caribbean School of Architecture, the Anglican Diocesan Financial Board, among others.
In 1984, Facey started the C.B. Facey Foundation (CBFF), now the cornerstone of Pan-Jam, in honour of his father Cecil Boswell Facey. The Foundation supports local initiatives grounded in Education, the Arts and the Environment. It remains heavily involved in early childhood education at Orange Hall and Union Basic schools in St Ann and the Lalyce Grey Basic School and the Boys Town Infant and All Age schools in Kingston.
Facey was conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 1988 for distinguished services in the field of finance, tourism and agriculture. In January 2009, the University of Technology conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa on the Honourable Maurice Facey, OJ, JP for a lifetime of service in the development of Jamaica.
Maurice Facey, OJ, JP died at the age of 87 on April 2, 2013. His legacy and contribution to Jamaica has been largely acknowledged by his peers, religious groups, citizens, non-profit organisations, private and public sector entities and leaders of Jamaica’s major political parties The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller and The Most Honourable Andrew Holness of the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), respectively. He is survived by his widow Valerie, philanthropist and Founder of The Mill Press; son Stephen, President and Chairman of PANJAM Investment Limited and daughter Laura, world-renowned artist and sculptor.