Fayval Williams

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Fayval Williams

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology
Assumed office
14 February 2019
Preceded byAndrew Holness
Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
In office
27 March 2018 – 13 February 2019
Prime MinisterAndrew Holness
Preceded byHorace Dalley
Member of Parliament for St Andrew Eastern
Assumed office
16 February 2016
Preceded byAndre Hylton
State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
In office
7 March 2016 – 26 March 2018
Prime MinisterAndrew Holness
Personal details
Born (1958-05-28) May 28, 1958 (age 61)
St Catherine
Nationality Jamaica
Political partyJamaica Labour Party
Spouse(s)Leo Williams
Alma mater

Fayval Shirley Williams (born 28 May 1958) is a Jamaican politician who is the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology[1][2] and the Member of Parliament for the St Andrew Eastern constituency. She was previously the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. She is the first female to be a minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and also the first female minister of science, energy and technology. In June 2014, Fayval Williams was named as a member of the Jamaica Labour Party's Economic Advisory Council.[3][4]

She was elected as Member of Parliament 25 February 2016 when she polled 7,143 votes to become the first female Member of Parliament for St Andrew Eastern.[5] She is a member of the governing Jamaica Labour Party and has served as secretary for the party's Central Executive Committee.


Fayval Williams is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with concentration in Finance from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in Economics from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fayval attended Ferncourt High School in St Ann, Jamaica.[6]

Early career[edit]

Shortly after leaving high school, Fayval Williams landed a job at the Bank of Nova Scotia in Kingston where she worked as a teller for three (3) years before she left to pursue higher studies in the United States of America.

She would later work as an Information Systems Analyst for Morgan Stanley, an American multinational financial services corporation that provides securities products and services to customers, including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals.

She gained valuable experience at the Equitable Real Estate Investment Management in Chicago, Illinois. While there, she performed valuation analysis on commercial real estate properties.


Fayval Williams was first sworn in as Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives on 10 March 2016.

She was presented as caretaker for the St Andrew Eastern constituency 23 March 2015 by the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party Andrew Holness after having been organising the constituency since early 2014.[7] She was officially nominated as the Jamaica Labour Party candidate on February 9, 2016 at the Mona High School.[8][9][10] Williams succeeded Dr Saphire Longmore as caretaker, who lost to the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Andre Hylton by a mere 254 votes in the 2011 General Election. During the tenure of Dr St Aubyn Bartlett (former Member of Parliament), she served as constituency treasurer.

Science, Energy and Technology Ministry[edit]

Williams was appointed minister of science, energy and technology on February 14, 2019 by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.[11] She took over from him after he managed the portfolio for 6 months following the resignation of Dr Andrew Wheatley.[12]

Williams was a part of the negotiating team led by Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, negotiating a purchase of Venezuela's 49 percent shares in the Jamaica-state-owned oil refinery Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.[13] On 30 January 2019, Williams in providing an update on the status of the negotiation with Venezuela, said that there was no agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of Venezuela on the issue of the share buy-back.[14] Subsequent to that announcement by the minister, Prime Minister Andrew Holness on 12 February 2019, tabled legislation (The Compulsory Acquisition (Shares in Petrojam) Act 2019) in the House of Representatives to set in motion to compulsory acquisition of the 49 per cent shares held by PDV Caribe, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Upon assuming the portfolio, Williams promised complete transparency in the management of the portfolio.[15] Even though the Jamaica's two recognised newspapers welcomed the appointment of Williams as the new portfolio minister, they have said that her task at the ministry will be "tough".[16][17]

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (Petrojam)[edit]

In her contribution to a bill aim at compulsorily acquire the 49 per cent shares held by PDV Caribe, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Williams told Parliament on 19 February 2019 that an international firm placed the value of Petrojam at US$34 million. Williams said that a valuation conducted in 2006 by the same firm placed the value at US$126 million.[18]

Finance Ministry[edit]

Williams was promoted to a full minister on March 23, 2018 by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a Cabinet reshuffled to join Dr Nigel Clarke as ministers in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.[19]

On 7 March 2016, Fayval Williams was appointed as State Minister in the Ministry of Finance to work alongside Audley Shaw and Rudyard Spencer. Her portfolio responsibilities include but not limited to fiscal policy.[20][21]

Economic Policy[edit]

Months after taking up post at the Finance Ministry, Fayval Williams informed that the government would be exploring alternatives 11.4 Billion annual National Housing Trust withdrawals for budget financing, effectively discontinuing the policy of the previous administration.[22]

In her first Sectoral presentation in Parliament June 24, 2016, Williams disclosed that he Pensions (Public Service) Act to establish a contributory pension scheme in the public sector, is to come before Parliament. "Getting the public employee pension administration system completed is a key goal for this administration," Williams announced.[23]

In July 2016, Fayval Williams pointed to the need for Jamaica to implement a national identification system.[24]

As State Minister, Williams invited the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) to formulate an implementation team to work with the government of Jamaica to strategise the growth and development of its members. Her invitation was triggered by the SBAJ announcing its three main goals for 2016 for which it seeks government intervention. She noted that government intervention is always necessary for the private sector of any economy. She signaled that the government would be willing to assist, but only if the implementation team was established.[25]

Public Sector Policy[edit]

Williams has argued that improving efficiencies through the modernisation and transformation of the public sector is critical in achieving higher levels of economic growth.[26]

Political Representation[edit]

August Town[edit]

Fayval Williams in an interview publish in The Gleaner on September 21, 2018 said there is potential for the August Town community but expressed frustration that crime is retarding the progress of strides made in the community over the years. "I mean, those are programmes that we should be putting our energies into, but you take one step forward and 10 steps back, and it gets frustrating," she said.[27]

Williams has repeatedly make calls for a Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO) to be declared in August Town. She has expressed concern about the level of violence in the community, revealing that residents there are living in fear due to violence.[28]


In the Lower House of Parliament, Fayval Williams sat on the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC). The committee has the task of monitoring spending by all Government ministries, departments and agencies. She is also a member of the Human Resource and Social Development Committee.

On 25 July 2017, Williams piloted three Bills in Parliament which allow for tax exemption for listed companies using the share buyback option, The bills which she amended where: The Transfer Tax (Amendment) Act, the Income Tax (Amendment) Act and the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Act. Williams explained to the Parliament that she share repurchase option was introduced through an amendment to the Companies Act in 2004. She argued that there was a discrepancy between the option and the related tax laws, which made it unattractive to shareholders.[29]

Investment and Brokering[edit]


Kingston Properties[edit]

Fayval Williams served as executive director of Kingston Properties, a Real Estate Investment Trust company from 2008 until 2015 when she resigned to take up duties in the Jamaica Labour Party as its caretaker for the constituency of St Andrew Eastern. Fayval, her husband Leo Williams and Stuart White conceptualized the real estate investment company in 2007 to invest in the Carlton Savannah Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad, naming the company Carlton Savannah REIT (Jamaica) Limited.[30][31][32][33][34]

During the 7 years Mrs Williams held the position as Executive Director, shareholders equity in Kingston Properties grew from J$406.6 million to J$793.6 million at end of June 2015.


In 2016, Fayval Williams got a 32 Million payout from Kingston Properties as settlement for a long-term incentive plan (LTIP), which entitled the executive director to an allocation of shares based on the achievement of certain profit performance targets. The LTIP plan was not implemented and that it was mutually agreed between Williams and the board that the amount of $32.85 million be paid in lieu and in full settlement of the non-implementation of the LTIP.[35]

Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB)[edit]

Williams worked with Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited (JMMB Ltd). She was involved in decision-making at the senior management level at JMMB. She also led JMMB’s endeavour to develop world-class investment research capabilities.[36]

Her other duties at the money market brokers company include interfacing with the Financial Services Commission and the Jamaica Security Dealers Association (JSDA) on issues such as the impact of international accounting standards (particularly IAS39), development of a local Jamaican fixed income yield curve, determining capital adequacy and margin requirement for the local Repo Market. At JMMB, Williams also provided oversight for non-standard lending and served as the Head of the Valuation and Pricing team for JMMB’s public offering in December, 2002. Additionally, Williams served as chief investment officer of JMMB Limited from 2005 to 2007 with investment responsibilities spanning the trading department, investment research, and pensions.[37][38]

Financial Services Commission (FSC)[edit]

Fayval Williams on her return to Jamaica has consulted with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in the area of risk management, research and policy.[39] Her working papers included: Regulatory framework for private equity funds in developed capital markets; FSC’s Competition Policy Statement; Criteria for Recognizing a Caribbean regional Credit Rating Agency; and The Concept of Accredited Investors in the Jamaican Financial Market. She also worked on the development of early warning ratios for the brokerage industry; performed analytical work on Jamaica’s bond price volatility and liquidity management strategies; developed FSC’s input into the Memorandum of Understanding of the International Organization of Securities Commission (“IOSCO”); researched comparative information on Educational Savings Plans; led efforts to complete the IOSCO-Self Assessment exercise for the FSC.

United States[edit]

Putnam Investments[edit]

Fayval Williams worked in the area of equity analysis at Putnam Investments, a top-10-global mutual fund manager located in Boston, Massachusetts. Her investment recommendations span various companies in a variety of industries such as advertising, restaurant, global airlines, telecom, direct broadcasting satellite, environmental services, defense, power systems and technology. She published detailed financial forecasts and in-depth company and industry reports used by the various product groups at Putnam. Her stock recommendations outperformed the S&P500 during 1997-2001. She also had portfolio management responsibilities for a segment of a core portfolio product and led Putnam’s efforts to incubate a market neutral (hedge) fund.

Wellington Management Company[edit]

At Wellington Management Company in Boston, Massachusetts, Fayval Williams performed analysis and issued various recommendations for an expansive range of fixed income securities covering a broad spectrum of commercial enterprises including Transportation, Paper & Forest Products, Cable, Chemicals, Aerospace & Defense, Autos, and Railroad. Her other fixed income responsibilities included the analysis of asset- backed securities (ABS) and commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS). Assets under her management grew significantly in these securities as a result of the confidence the portfolio managers had in her work.

Northwestern Mutual Life[edit]

At Northwestern Mutual Life, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Williams’s responsibilities included daily trading of a wide array of various fixed income securities. She also performed analysis of corporate bonds across the credit spectrum (AAA to CCC). In addition, she also had portfolio management responsibilities for approximately US$3 billion. She was a member of the team that provided macro-economic and market input for both the strategic and tactical portfolio decisions.

Media Industry[edit]

Fayval Williams was the chairman of one of Jamaica’s leading media entity Nationwide News Network. She also hosted a daily financial programme on the radio station called Global Markets.[40] Williams is a co-founder and director of film animation company ReelRock GSW.[41]

Energy Industry[edit]

Fayval Williams serves as a director of Caribbean Energy Finance Company Ltd (CEFC), a renewable energy company chaired by her husband Leo Williams. Williams also serves as company secretary for CEFC. The company specialises in providing renewable energy solutions through affordable finance options. Its main target are companies around the Caribbean.[42]

Advocacy and community[edit]

Fayval Williams is a past president of the Beverly Hills Citizens Association Benevolent Society.[43][44] She is also a past treasurer of the American Women’s Group.[45]

Other activities[edit]

Williams is also a member of the Women Business Owners Jamaica Limited group. She participated in a BBC programme with more than 100 organisations in more than 50 countries around the world in the third BBC 100 Women Online International Conversation.[46] She has also served at various levels at the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) while she was active in the private sector.[47]


In December 2017, Businessuite Magazine named Williams the number one CEO in the Caribbean for 2016.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Fayval Williams is married to business mogul Leo Williams with whom she has two daughters.


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External links[edit]