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EXIM Bank managing director stepping away

MANAGING DIRECTOR at the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, Lisa Bell, is stepping down from her post on April 30, 2023.

Bell has been at the helm of the state finance agency for 13 years. She joined the EXIM Bank in 2010, having previously served at the state’s investment and export promotions agency, JAMPRO, as vice-president.

“It’s been 13 years. I am very proud of my achievement at the bank, and I believe it’s time for me to pursue opportunities where I can use my skills and pursue my passions at the same time,” Bell told Wednesday Business just after the announcement.

She is not yet ready to say where next after the EXIM Bank, only offering that she is mulling her choices based on job offers that are before her at this time.

Bell is not commenting on the circumstances of her departure but is insisting that she is walking away rather than being pushed out at the EXIM bank.

“No comment, but I was not pushed,” was the short answer from Bell.

Pressed on the status of her contract with the EXIM Bank, Bell again declined comment, referring further comments to chairman Deveta McLaren.

Contacted, the EXIM Bank chairman also declined comment on Bell’s departure. Additionally, McLaren would not comment on the search for a new managing director or the status of Bell’s contract with the lending agency.

He would also not say anything of the direction of the EXIM Bank with Bell’s departure

Bell says under her leadership, the bank’s loans portfolio was expanded significantly to the productive and micro small and medium enterprise (MSME) sectors. Bell also spearheaded the modernisation of the bank to provide for financing support to the productive sector, gaining ISO 9001:2015 certification in April 2020.

Bell says her stepping away from the state agency is not an indication that she will be moving away from finance and development. She says it has taken a long time to develop and hone her skill set

“I’m proud that we service over 3,000 companies, and SMEs and access to finance is something that I am very passionate about. This access is a key component to economic growth and recovery,” Bell said, adding that she is stepping away and taking time to be very deliberate about her choices.

General Manager of Finance at the EXIM Bank Errol Barnaby has been tapped as interim managing director.

Bell would not be drawn on questions about the status of her contract, but says she is looking forward to her future.

“There is a reason and season for everything under the sun, and my season has ended, and my season to pursue other opportunities has come,” Bell said philosophically.

The EXIM Bank offers short-term working capital financing to the productive sector, along with medium-term loans for SMEs. The bank also undertakes trade credit insurance and business advisory services with a loan portfolio of about six billion dollars.

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