“As property developers, we have been involved in many exciting projects over an extended period. We have always felt that our role in national development, in the changing of architectural standards and modernisation of our capital city inherently incorporated a strong cultural element that should be recognised and encouraged.”
— MAURICE FACEY
The celebration of Jamaica’s independence in 1962 was a turning point for our nation – its economy, its culture and, most importantly, its people. Opportunities would arise for those who were ready, along a path filled with unknown risks and rewards. Amongst the challenges, a group of investors saw a future of unbridled possibilities for Jamaica and decided to pursue them.
In 1964, the Facey Family, led by Cecil Boswell Facey, formed Jamaica Property Company Limited (Jamaica Property), which would focus on real estate development in Kingston. Shortly thereafter, the Honourable Clinton Hart incorporated Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited (PanJam), a company with a dual-purpose: invest in a wide range of Jamaican businesses, while providing ordinary Jamaicans with the ability to participate in those investments. In line with our mandate, PanJam applied to be listed on the Kingston (Jamaica) Stock Exchange and, in 1965, raised £200,000 through a public offering.
A year later, Jamaica Property became a wholly-owned subsidiary of PanJam in a transaction that represented the amalgamation of two companies driven to growing Jamaica, whether through direct investment in local businesses or the development of the properties on which they operate. The Honourable Maurice Facey, a self-described serial entrepreneur, became PanJam’s Managing Director and eventually our Chairman, guiding the company through decades of macroeconomic and political uncertainty, but never wavering from his goal of contributing to Jamaica’s long-term success.
PanJam emerged as a business leader, pioneering the development of high-rise commercial and residential properties, and investing in iconic Jamaican companies. Under the guidance of C. A. Lloyd Facey, we began with the construction of the Air Jamaica Building in Downtown Kingston, the Imperial Life Building on Knutsford Boulevard and the Abbey Court Apartments on Hope Road. We diversified our portfolio by investing in the manufacturing and trading industry with the acquisition of Wherry Wharf. We then made our mark as a serious private equity player by purchasing Hardware & Lumber in Jamaica’s first public hostile takeover. This was only the beginning.
In the 1980s, we acquired Jamaica Floral Exports and Sans Souci Hotel and Resort, and attained controlling interest in Scott’s Preserves. These investments exposed PanJam to export markets and tourism. We also began to explore the finance industry with the establishment of First Life Insurance Company and the acquisition of a 20% stake in Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank. Through a series of strategic restructurings, these two transactions lay the foundation for one of PanJam’s largest holdings today: 32% of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited.
In more recent times, PanJam continued to invest in Jamaica through partnerships with Chukka Adventure Tours, Mavis Bank Coffee Company and Walkerswood Caribbean Foods. We reaffirmed our commitment to the development of Kingston by introducing the international brand Courtyard by Marriott and acquiring the Oceana Hotel on the Waterfront. We have also looked for opportunities beyond our shores, and invested in an Aloft Hotel in Miami, Florida.
PanJam is an investment holding company. This means that we will, from time to time, divest our interests in our associates. We sold our share of H&L Rapid True Value in 2015 and of Mavis Bank Coffee Company in 2016. Through all the changes to our portfolio, both past and future, PanJam remains committed to its founders’ vision. We actively pursue investments that will grow the real Jamaican economy, while ensuring that we create long-term value for our shareholders.