The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) has announced the selection of Mr. Hugh Sands for the Lifetime Achievement Award 2011, in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry.

Mr Sands, a banking industry veteran, is the former Caribbean Director and Bahamas Manager for Barclays Bank, from which institution he retired in 1995 after a distinguished career that began in 1973. He started at Barclays as a Staff Manager in the Local Head Office, and prior to becoming Bahamas Manager also served as Manager of the Barclays Bay Street Branch. As Caribbean Director his duties included responsibility for the Bank’s Operations in The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Profit and Performance Planning for the Bank’s Operations in The Cayman Islands and Belize.

After retiring from Barclays, Mr. Sands was appointed Chairman of The Bank of the Bahamas Limited, a position he held until retiring in early 2005. In 1998 he was awarded the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) in recognition of his significant contribution to The Bahamas. Three year prior, he became an Honorary Fellow of The Bahamas Institute of Bankers, now the Bahamas Financial Services Institute.

Currently, he remains a Trustee of the Royal Bahamas Police Dependants Trust Fund and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bahamas Hotel and Allied Industries Pension fund. He serves as a Director of The Private Trust Corporation Limited, Tribune Radio Holding Limited, Providence Advisors Limited, Fidelity Bank and Trust Limited, Andbanc (Bahamas )Limited, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA (formerly Banque SCS Alliance (Nassau) Limited). Previously, he served as Chairman of J.S. Johnson & Company Ltd. and the Insurance Company of The Bahamas.

Mr. Sands concluded a four year appointment as Chairman of the Public Service Commission on the 31 August of this year, and was honoured with the 2011 Public Service Award of Excellence at a Ceremony at Government House on 30th September 2011. The citation reads: *”In recognition of your many years of distinguished service and outstanding commitment to the growth and development of the Bahamas Public Service. Your passion for excellence, steadfastness of purpose and unparalleled devotion to duty has left an indelible imprint in the Public Service.”*

Throughout his career he has held prominent and leadership positions in educational associations and community building groups such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme, the Endowment for the Performing Arts, the Bahamas National Trust, Rotary Club of East Nassau and Council Chairman of the College of The Bahamas. He was a Founding Member of The Blue Ribbon Panel, Cacique Awards and the First Chairman of the Hotel Training Council.

Mr. Sands came to the financial services industry from an illustrious career in the educational field, having served as a Teacher and later Headmaster of the Government High School, the first Old Scholar to have done so. Between 1970 and 1973 he served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Mr. Sands completed his higher education at Durham, Leicester and London Universities in the UK, obtaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree, Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Master of Arts Degree. He is married to the former June Sherman of Bimini and the couple has two children and five grandchildren. His wife of 51 years is the Founding Managing Director of Premier Travel; he credits her with having been an unfailing source of support and guidance. The couple’s daughter, Erika, is a Geriatric Social Worker and lives in Canada. Their son, Paul, is a Hedge Fund Manager and lives in New York. The eldest grandchild, Jonathan, is a second year student at McGill University while his sister, Amanda, is completing High School. Paul’s three children, Madeline, Alexander and William are all in High School in New York. Mr. Sands says their children and grandchildren bring joy and hope into his and Shirley’s lives.

Chairman Paul Winder points out that the humility of this industry “soldier” is attested to in a comment he made: *“I wasn’t going to end up in Fortune, Forbes, Success, CEO or Money magazine. I was more likely to end up with my name printed in some barely legible tiny font in the co-author attribution line in reports on education in The Bahamas that I took very seriously and worked diligently to create.”* He brought this same lack of arrogance to the financial services industry, displaying instead enduring dedication to building the sector through whatever role and responsibilities he undertook.

CEO Wendy Warren says that his background in education and, indeed, his orientation towards learning certainly align well with BFSB’s current initiatives to build human capital within the sector. Mr. Sands has been known to say that much of what he has been able to achieve in life has been due to the emphasis his parents placed on education. He says*,”…though it upset me at the time to have to sit inside and study before I could go outside and play sports or fish, it taught me discipline and a respect for studying that allowed me to absorb so much made available to me during my college and university years.”*

BFSB is delighted to have this opportunity to recognise this outstanding Bahamian. The Award will be presented at the 11th Annual FSI Excellence Awards Banquet on November 11, at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Hotel. BFSB is accepting reservations now.