British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 29, 2022

Honours, Accolades Were Never Part Of My Goal – Dr. Mathavious

Honours, Accolades Were Never Part Of My Goal – Dr. Mathavious

Following a night of praise and performances, despite being in poor health due to kidney failure, a sprightly and articulate Dr. Robert Mathavious was honoured for his extensive contributions to the Public Service and the Financial Services industry in the BVI.

“Wow! Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart I say thank you. I must say how thrilled and overwhelmed I am, I didn’t know what to expect: the performances I think were all great and I am pleased,” he said after receiving his award last night, November 15 at the Eileen L. Parsons Auditorium.

He continued: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth to be recognized and honoured for that which I was trained for, paid for, lived for and cherished and passionately enjoyed doing. What an honour! Something I would never have asked for or envisaged.”

Dr. Mathavious, who retired in December 2020, said when he was approached about the event, he felt that it was “way over the top” and demeaning of others who contributed along with him to the sector during his journey.

He said all he wanted to do when he joined the public service was to contribute meaningfully to the government who had funded his university studies.

“Neither pomp nor pageantry…honours, accolades, fame or fortune was never a goal. What I wanted to do was make a difference, to be the difference that made that difference to the BVI and to the lives of British Virgin Islanders,” he added.

In the meantime, Chair of the celebratory event Chief Executive Officer of BVI Finance Elise Donovan explained that the accolade was for his contribution to the Public Service and Financial Services industry.

“A true representation of territorial pride, this piece literally depicts the theme of today’s celebration: The House that Mathavious Built.”

She continued: “The house features the territorial colours of the Virgin Islands – red, blue, green, white and yellow– while the roof and the sides proudly displays the territorial flag and Vigilate which represents the public service. The façade of the house features the Financial Services Commission’s logo, while the back of the house proudly depicts the territorial flower and bird, the White Cedar and Turtle Dove. "

Donovan said, "The hands in their golden tone represent Mr. Mathavious’ Midas touch in pioneering the financial services industry and serving as the first local to hold the post of Financial Secretary in the Public Service.”

The award was bestowed on him on behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands for his “unwavering contribution to the Public Service and to the people of these Virgin Islands,” by Acting Premier Dr. Natalio Wheatley and Acting Governor David Archer Jr.

More About Dr. Mathavious

According to the Financial Services Commission, Dr. Mathavious served in many roles, such as the Commission’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer during his over 35 year career in that industry.

He also served for 25 years as a Public Servant and held roles such as the Financial Secretary and Director of Financial Services.

Dr. Mathavious, who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies and a Masters of Business Administration from Georgetown University in the United States, is the Commission’s first, and only, MD/CEO, since the statutory body was created in 2001 with the enactment of the Financial Services Act.

Dr. Mathavious has been the principal financial services negotiator for the BVI, developing in the process widespread acclaim for dealing with the international initiatives. He is also a lead voice of the region on these matters.

"Dr. Mathavious, a robust defender of International Financial Centres (“IFCs”), has written extensively on the international financial services industry. His articles have appeared in numerous industry trade journals and magazines," FSC said.

He is a popular speaker/presenter at international and regional financial services workshops, particularly on regulatory and compliance issues, strategies for dealing with the international initiatives targeting international financial centres and anti-money laundering issues.

Dr. Mathavious was also described as a visionary for the financial services industry in the territory and “he envisioned more income generating opportunities for the Virgin Islands and channeled his education, knowledge and experience in setting the foundation for the development of the financial industry in the Virgin Islands.

His vision, innovation, creativity, pioneer’s spirit, and love for his native Virgin Islands and its people catapulted the BVI as an international reputation for excellent regulation, which is universally regarded as a preeminent financial centre.

Dr. Mathavious holds membership in several professional boards, including the Financial Investigation Agency Board, the FATCA Negotiating Team for the Virgin Islands Tax Information Exchange Agreement Negotiation Team for the Government of the Virgin Islands among others, the FSC informed.

In 2013, he was bestowed the degree of Doctor of Law, Honoris Causa from the University of the West Indies.

He has also acted as Governor of the territory many times in the absence of the Governor from the Territory and retired on December 31, 2020.


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