Our Management

Our business started as a joint venture partnership between two men, Messrs Cave and Shepherd back in 1906.

Board of
Directors

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Committees
of the Board

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Executive
Management

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Board Of Directors

The maximum number of Directors permitted by the Company’s revised Bylaws is 10 with a minimum of three. The Board currently consists of 10 members; six of whom are non-executive (of whom three are independent) and four are executive.

The Board Mandate serves to provide guidance to Board Members as to their duties and responsibilities. The power and authority of the Board is subject to the provisions of applicable law and regulations.

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Sir R. Geoffrey CaveSir R. Geoffrey CaveChairman

Sir R. Geoffrey Cave, K.A., C.B.E., B.C.H., Hon. L.L.D., UWI - Chairman

Sir Geoffrey Cave is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Cave Shepherd & Co. Limited.  Sir Geoffrey was first elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1970.  Sir Geoffrey chairs the Boards of associates, DGM Financial Group, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd and SigniaGlobe Financial Group Inc.  He also serves as Chairman of subsidiary, Fortress Fund Managers Limited.

In November 2016, on the occassion of Barbados' 50th Anniversary of Independance, he was awarded the honour of Knight of St. Andrew for his outstanding contribution to business.  In 2007, the University of the West Indies conferred on him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) and in the Queen's New Years' Honour's List in 2003, he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.  His distinguished career in business in Barbados and the region was recognized in 2001 when he was awarded a Caribbean Master Entrepreneur Award.

Sir Geoffrey holds a B.Comm. from McGill University in Canada

Mr. John M. B. WilliamsMr. John M. B. WilliamsChief Executive Officer

Mr. John M. B. Williams, FCA - Chief Executive Officer

Joined Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd as Chief Executive Officer in 2006. Prior to joining Cave Shepherd, John worked for the Goddard Group of Companies from 1988 to 2006, the United States Agency for International Development from 1986 to 1988 and the London and Barbados offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers (then Price Waterhouse).

Past appointments include former Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Barbados Investment & Development Corporation and the Barbados Institute of Management & Productivity (BIMAP). Former President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, former Deputy President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados and former Director of Barbados Tourism and Investment Inc

Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Manchester University. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (FCA) and the institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (FCA).

The Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine BarriteauThe Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine Barriteau

The Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine Barriteau, GSM

Eudine Barriteau was elected to serve on the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2008. She is a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee.

Professor Barriteau is an academic with numerous scholarly writings to her credit. She serves on a number of Boards and Committees regionally and internationally.

Professor Barriteau is currently the Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI). She has previously held the opositions of Deputy Principal, Cave Hill Campus, Prinicpal of University of the West Indies Open Campus and Head of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, a position she held for fifteen (15) years.

Mr. Roger M. CaveMr. Roger M. CaveExecutive Director

Mr. Roger M. Cave, CA, CFA - Executive Director

Roger Cave joined the Board of Cave Shepherd in 1997. He is the founder and Investment Director of Fortress Fund Managers Limited, a subsidiary of Cave Shepherd. Fortress manages a suite of mutual funds, including Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, Fortress Caribbean Pension Fund and Fortress Caribbean High Interest Fund.

Mr. Cave serves as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd and DGM Financial Group, associates of Cave Shepherd. He is a Board member of the Barbados Stock Exchange

Mr. Cave is a graduate of Bishop's University, Canada where he obtained a BBA. He is a CFA charter holder as well as a Chartered Accountant. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Accountants of Barbados (FCA).

Mrs. Maureen D. DavisMrs. Maureen D. DavisExecutive Director

Mrs. Maureen D. Davis - Executive Director

Maureen Davis joined the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2007. She is currently the Chief Development Officer of one of Cave Shepherd's major associated companies, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd, a position she has held since that company's formation in 2000.

She also serves on the Board of the Toursim Development Corporation, and is a Council member of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society.

Mr. Richard G. SimpsonMr. Richard G. SimpsonExecutive Director

Mr. Richard G. Simpson - Executive Director

Richard Simpson was elected to serve on the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2007. He joined Cave Shepherd in 1983 and has worked in several departments of retail operations.

Mr. Simpson is a member of the Executive Committee of retail associate, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd, with responsibilitiy for premises and facilities.

Mr. Robert M. Harvey-ReadMr. Robert M. Harvey-ReadNon-Executive Director

Mr. Robert M. Harvey-Read - Non-Executive Director

Robert Harvey-Read was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2008. He is a member of the Audit Committee.

Robert works in the philanthropic division of Banyan Air Service – one of the leading private aircraft service operators in the south-eastern USA. His main role is the Recruitment and Donor Relations Coordinator for Egbe Hospital in Southern Nigeria which is currently undergoing a major revitalization led by the owners of Banyan Air Service. Prior to this, Robert worked for the United States Retail Division of the Automotive Art Group managing sales and store development. He has held other developmental and leadership roles in business and Christian ministry in Barbados, Grenada, and the US.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Ryerson University in Canada.

Mr. Edward J. L. InceMr. Edward J. L. InceNon-Executive Director

Mr. Edward J. L. Ince - Non-Executive Director

Edward Ince joined the Cave Shepherd Board in 2012.

Mr Ince has extensive experience in creating and managing businesses throughout the Caribbean and Central America regions. He co-founded Prism Services, a payments and operations outsourcing company and continues to sit on the Prism Board. He also serves on the Boards of Republic Bank Ltd and Producttive Business Solutions Limited, a listed company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Mr. Ince is a graduate of York University, Canada, where he obtained a BSc. (Hons) in Computer Science.

Mr. Adrian H. PadmoreMr. Adrian H. PadmoreNon-Executive Director

Mr. Adrian H. Padmore - Non-Executive Director

Adrian Padmore was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in April 2016. He is the Chairman of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Commitee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr. Padmore is the Managing Director of Bryden Stokes Limited and previously held the position of General Manager of The West India Biscuit Company Limited (WIBISCO) from 2002 until 2017. His experience in the manufacturing, export, retail and the distribution sectors span over 25 years, additionally, he has worked extensively in the Barbados, Caribbean and USA markets.

Mr. Padmore is a graduate of Harrison College and Coventry University, England, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) and is a past member of the Council of Management of the Barbados Manufacturers' Association

Mr. Lyden J. RamdhannyMr. Lyden J. RamdhannyIndependent Director

Mr. Lyden J. Ramdhanny - Independent Director

Lyden Ramdhanny was appointed to the Cave Shepherd Board in 2008. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee. Mr. Ramdhanny previously served as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd an associate of the company for five (5) years from its inception in 2000.

Mr. Ramdhanny is a prominent businessman in Grenada having held numerous private enterprise and public service/government posts.

Lyden Ramdhanny was appointed to the Cave Shepherd Board in 2008. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee. Mr. Ramdhanny previously served as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd an associate of the company for five (5) years from its inception in 2000.

Mr. Ramdhanny is a prominent businessman in Grenada having held numerous private enterprise and public service/government posts.

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Committees of the Board

Committees of the Board play an integral part in the governance process of Cave Shepherd by assisting the Board with the proper discharge of its functions by providing an opportunity for more in-depth discussions.

There are 2 committees of the Board:

The Audit Committee

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Mr. Lyden J. RamdhannyMr. Lyden J. RamdhannyChairman

Mr. Lyden J. Ramdhanny - Chairman

Lyden Ramdhanny was appointed to the Cave Shepherd Board in 2008. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee. Mr. Ramdhanny previously served as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd an associate of the company for five (5) years from its inception in 2000.

Mr. Ramdhanny is a prominent businessman in Grenada having held numerous private enterprise and public service/government posts.

Mr. Robert M. Harvey-ReadMr. Robert M. Harvey-Read

Mr. Robert M. Harvey-Read

Robert Harvey-Read was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2008. He is a member of the Audit Committee.

Robert works in the philanthropic division of Banyan Air Service – one of the leading private aircraft service operators in the south-eastern USA. His main role is the Recruitment and Donor Relations Coordinator for Egbe Hospital in Southern Nigeria which is currently undergoing a major revitalization led by the owners of Banyan Air Service. Prior to this, Robert worked for the United States Retail Division of the Automotive Art Group managing sales and store development. He has held other developmental and leadership roles in business and Christian ministry in Barbados, Grenada, and the US.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Ryerson University in Canada.

Mr. Adrian H. PadmoreMr. Adrian H. Padmore

Mr. Adrian H. Padmore

Adrian Padmore was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in April 2016. He is the Chairman of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Commitee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr. Padmore is the Managing Director of Bryden Stokes Limited and previously held the position of General Manager of The West India Biscuit Company Limited (WIBISCO) from 2002 until 2017. His experience in the manufacturing, export, retail and the distribution sectors span over 25 years, additionally, he has worked extensively in the Barbados, Caribbean and USA markets.

Mr. Padmore is a graduate of Harrison College and Coventry University, England, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) and is a past member of the Council of Management of the Barbados Manufacturers' Association

Adrian Padmore was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in April 2016. He is the Chairman of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Commitee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr. Padmore is the Managing Director of Bryden Stokes Limited and previously held the position of General Manager of The West India Biscuit Company Limited (WIBISCO) from 2002 until 2017. His experience in the manufacturing, export, retail and the distribution sectors span over 25 years, additionally, he has worked extensively in the Barbados, Caribbean and USA markets.

Mr. Padmore is a graduate of Harrison College and Coventry University, England, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) and is a past member of the Council of Management of the Barbados Manufacturers' Association

Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee

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Mr. Adrian H. PadmoreMr. Adrian H. PadmoreChairman

Mr. Adrian H. Padmore - Chairman

Adrian Padmore was elected to the Board of Cave Shepherd in April 2016. He is the Chairman of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Commitee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr. Padmore is the Managing Director of Bryden Stokes Limited and previously held the position of General Manager of The West India Biscuit Company Limited (WIBISCO) from 2002 until 2017. His experience in the manufacturing, export, retail and the distribution sectors span over 25 years, additionally, he has worked extensively in the Barbados, Caribbean and USA markets.

Mr. Padmore is a graduate of Harrison College and Coventry University, England, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) and is a past member of the Council of Management of the Barbados Manufacturers' Association

The Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine BarriteauThe Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine BarriteauExecutive Director

The Most Hon. Prof. V. Eudine Barriteau, GCM - Executive Director

Eudine Barriteau was elected to serve on the Board of Cave Shepherd in 2008. She is a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee.

Professor Barriteau is an academic with numerous scholarly writings to her credit. She serves on a number of Boards and Committees regionally and internationally.

Professor Barriteau is currently the Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI). She has previously held the opositions of Deputy Principal, Cave Hill Campus, Prinicpal of University of the West Indies Open Campus and Head of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, a position she held for fifteen (15) years.

Mr. Lyden J. RamdhannyMr. Lyden J. Ramdhanny

Mr. Lyden J. Ramdhanny

Lyden Ramdhanny was appointed to the Cave Shepherd Board in 2008. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee. Mr. Ramdhanny previously served as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd an associate of the company for five (5) years from its inception in 2000.

Mr. Ramdhanny is a prominent businessman in Grenada having held numerous private enterprise and public service/government posts.

Lyden Ramdhanny was appointed to the Cave Shepherd Board in 2008. He is the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance & Nomination Committee. Mr. Ramdhanny previously served as a Director on the Board of Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd an associate of the company for five (5) years from its inception in 2000.

Mr. Ramdhanny is a prominent businessman in Grenada having held numerous private enterprise and public service/government posts.

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Executive Management

Committed to delivering on our Brand Promise – Working Together to Meet Needs

Mr. John M. B. WilliamsMr. John M. B. WilliamsChief Executive Officer, Cave Shepherd Group of Companies

Mr. John M. B. Williams, FCA - Chief Executive Officer, Cave Shepherd Group of Companies

John Williams is the Chief Executive Officer of Cave Shepherd & Co. Limited. He is responsible for the management of the day-to-day operations of the Company as delegated by the Board.

Mr. Williams serves as a Director on the Boards of Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc., DGM Financial Group, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd, GCS Limited and SigniaGlobe Financial Group Inc., associates of Cave Shepherd. He is also a Director on the Board of Fortress Fund Managers Limited.

Mr. Williams is a mathematics graduate of Manchester University, UK. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (FCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (FCA).

Mr. Roger CaveMr. Roger CaveInvestment Manager, Fortress Fund Managers Ltd.

Mr. Roger Cave - Investment Manager, Fortress Fund Managers Ltd.

Roger is the founder and Managing Director of Fortress Fund Managers Limited which has successfully managed the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, Fortress Caribbean Pension Fund and the Fortress Caribbean High Interest Fund.

Roger is a CFA charterholder as well as a Chartered Accountant. Roger is a board member of the Barbados Stock Exchange and CariCris, the Caribbean's sole credit rating company.

Mrs. Alison Browne-EllisMrs. Alison Browne-EllisDirector, Cave Shepherd, Card Services

Mrs. Alison Browne-Ellis - Director, Cave Shepherd, Card Services

Alison Browne-Ellis has responsibility for the overall leadership of the Cave Shepherd Card business, including strategic planning and business development growth strategies. Alison brings over 20 years of experience in the financial services and payments industry where she performed several regional roles during her tenure at Barclays Bank and FirstCaribbean International Bank.

Alison holds an Executive Diploma from the Ivey Business School, Western University and a Master of Business Administration with Distinction, from the University of Surrey. Alison is also an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers and current Council Member and past Vice President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Wayne FieldsMr. Wayne FieldsPresident, DGM Bank & Trust Inc.

Mr. Wayne Fields - President, DGM Bank & Trust Inc.

Wayne is President of DGM Financial Group of Companies. He joined the Group in November 2012. Prior to his appointment, Wayne worked at Coopers & Lybrand, later PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 37 years in various senior roles throughout the Caribbean. From 1996 until his retirement in 2006, he was Managing Partner, Assurance Partner, Financial Services Group Leader, and Tax & Corporate Leader for PriceWaterhouseCoopers Eastern Caribbean advising International Banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, and their top tier companies on financial management, tax and corporate practices. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.

Wayne assumed responsibility for the bank's business development strategy and promoting its banking, captive insurance management, corporate and investment services to both new and existing clients.

Ms. Mary Beth BrennerMs. Mary Beth BrennerChief Executive Officer, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd

Ms. Mary Beth Brenner - Chief Executive Officer, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd

Mary Beth Brenner joined Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd in July 2017, as Chief Operations Officer. Prior to Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd, Mary Elizabeth held senior management positions in well-established companies such as DFS Group (division of LVMH) and Maui Divers Jewelry.

As Chief Executive Officer, Mary Elizabeth is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and management of the business operations of Duty Free (Holdings) Ltd., where she leads, directs and guides the Executive Management Team in the delivery of corporate strategies for growth and expansion and the achievement of ROI, sales and profit objectives.

Mr. Paul AshbyMr. Paul AshbyChief Executive Officer, SigniaGlobe Financial Group Inc.

Mr. Paul Ashby - Chief Executive Officer, SigniaGlobe Financial Group Inc.

Brings 23 years of diverse banking experience to his new position, gained mainly in local and regional roles while at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank. He has been a Branch Manager, Regional Sales and Service Manager, Regional Marketing Manager, Product Development Manager, Special Projects Manager for the Barbados SBU, District Manager for Retail, Wealth and Small Business and has served on the Country Management Committee.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Paul holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Sector Management and a Masters of Science in Project Management and Evaluation. He is also a Part-Time Lecturer and Tutor in Business Strategy and Policy at UWI, Cave Hill.

Mr. Clifford NolanMr. Clifford NolanGeneral Manager, G.C.S. Ltd.

Mr. Clifford Nolan - General Manager, G.C.S. Ltd.

Clifford joined G.C.S. Limited in November of 2009 and brings over 30 years of experience of business in Barbados. Prior to taking up the reins at GANZEE he had served in a similar capacity at BICO Ltd and Harris Paints Ltd.

G.C.S. Limited is better known as GANZEE and Caribbean KIDZ, and operates a chain of souvenir shops in Barbados and Grenada. The business is a partnership between Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd and a large South African firm called Tourvest Inc which specializes in destination retail. G.C.S Limited is also responsible for the souvenir departments in all the Cave Shepherd stores.

Mr. Ian GibsonMr. Ian GibsonChief Financial Officer, Cave Shepherd Group of Companies

Mr. Ian Gibson, FCA, CGA - Chief Financial Officer, Cave Shepherd Group of Companies

Ian Gibson is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cave Shepherd & Co. Limited. He also serves as a Director on the Boards of Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc. and GCS Limited, associates of the Company. As CFO, he is responsible for the administrative, financial and risk management operations of the Company.

Mr. Gibson joined the Company in 1995 as Financial Controller. Prior to this, he was employed with a leading audit firm.

Mr. Gibson is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (FCA) - Practising Member and a member of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA).

Ms. Hanna ChrysostomMs. Hanna ChrysostomGroup Corporate Secretary/Legal Counsel, Cave Shepherd & Co Ltd.

Ms. Hanna Chrysostom - Group Corporate Secretary/Legal Counsel, Cave Shepherd & Co Ltd.

Hanna Chrysostom is the Group Corporate Secretary of Cave Shepherd & Co. Limited. She is responsible for the integrity of Cave Shepherd's governance framework and as Cave Shepherd's in-house counsel, she also offers legal and regulatory advice and conducts legal research for the benefit of the Company.

Ms. Chrysostom is admitted to practice as an Attorney-at-Law in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago. She has had a diverse legal career with over ten (10) years of experience in corporate and commerical law and litigation. She has worked in private and as in-house counsel for a major international telecommunications company.

Ms. Chrysostom holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Durham, UK.

Hanna Chrysostom is the Group Corporate Secretary of Cave Shepherd & Co. Limited. She is responsible for the integrity of Cave Shepherd's governance framework and as Cave Shepherd's in-house counsel, she also offers legal and regulatory advice and conducts legal research for the benefit of the Company.

Ms. Chrysostom is admitted to practice as an Attorney-at-Law in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago. She has had a diverse legal career with over ten (10) years of experience in corporate and commerical law and litigation. She has worked in private and as in-house counsel for a major international telecommunications company.

Ms. Chrysostom holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Durham, UK.

Group Structure

Our Heritage

Discover some of the history and stories that have helped make us who we are today.

Our business started as a joint venture partnership between two men, Messrs Cave and Shepherd back in 1906.

Did you know that our humble beginnings began in Palmetto Street in Bridgetown where a general supply store was established?

How about the evolution from Joint venture partnership to private limited liability company to finally launching one of the islands first major Initial Public Offerings in 1971?

Or even the lobbying efforts of Maurice Cave and others which paid off when the Drawback of Duty Act was passed!

Discover our story and follow the fascinating journey that has made Cave Shepherd the company that it is today – a diverse and multi-faceted organisation with interests in retail, tourism, financial services, property development, renewable energy, and international business.

An Incredible Journey
at a Glance

Two respected Bridgetown businessmen, Mr R. G. Cave and Mr J. P. Shepherd, established a general supply store in Palmetto Street on 17 December 1906, and a dry goods store at No. 10 Broad Street (“The Ideal”) on February 7, 1907, the new firm representing in the West Indies several large, influential firms in England and America.

Not short on business acumen, having both worked as salesmen from an early age at W. L. Johnson & Co. Ltd, the founders prided themselves on having a firm grasp of customer needs and wants.

The Provision Store supplied dealers and retail traders with wholesale goods, and planters with ‘feeding stuffs” from the busiest thoroughfares behind Parliament, not far from the firm’s bonded warehouse.

The Retail (“Dry Goods”) store occupied a premier position on Broad Street – Bridgetown’s main shopping corridor. Its arrival was met with considerable excitement. In fact, public enthusiasm reached such a pitch that several days before the official opening the store found itself overrun by eager customers. An article in the Agricultural Reporter of February 2, 1907, described the scene:

“…all day customers poured in through the side entrance in Manchester Lane and kept things running until the clerks were thoroughly exhausted…. To avoid repetition, and to enable them to arrange the store for opening day, Messrs. Cave and Shepherd will positively refuse admittance to all and any today… The Manager says the customers will be well rewarded by waiting until Monday when the windows are properly dressed, and the shelves arranged in proper order.”

Goods from the best known, most highly patronised makers of the time were retailed at The Ideal. Equally alluring were the exterior and interior of the new store:

“… the old-fashioned building was converted into a handsome ornamental pile that invited comparison with the very best business premises in the island. Commodious, light, and well ventilated, the Broad Street premises….are as comfortable and well appointed as ever a fastidious customer could desire, and fully merit the appellation of ‘Ideal Store’….

After just four years of operation, Messrs. Cave and Shepherd decided to modernise the retail premises of The Ideal in 1911, enhancing the use of floor space of 5.661 square feet. The various departments were carefully arranged to entice customers, with everything done to ease their journey through the store. The most popular departments lay at street level and the less frequented areas were housed upstairs, along with the Counting House or Office.

In 1915, the opportunity arose for the partners to purchase the adjoining property at Nos. 11 and 12 Broad Street increasing the floor space by 14,815 square feet. The Broad Street frontage was lengthened to include the façade of both buildings, while the back premises on Victoria Street were rented out.

At the Provision Store on Palmetto Street good progress continued and in 1917, the partners sold the general supply store to Mr Martin Doorly, marking the end of the firm’s involvement on the provision trade.

The 1920’s and 1930’s saw considerable change in the firm’s directorate and some uncertainty in its fortunes. In 1925, R. G. Cave introduced his son, Maurice, to the business. Newly out of Harrisons College at age 17, Maurice spent the next 5 years in various roles learning the workings of the firm and then on to the Belleville Business College in Canada. His return to Barbados coincided with the death of his father and in 1933 he became a partner of the firm and the Chairmanship was devolved to him at age 28.

In 1937, Mr J. P. Shepherd announced his retirement from the business. With no sons to succeed him, Mr Shepherd decided it was time to end his family’s involvement in Cave Shepherd and accordingly his capital interest was paid out.

In 1943, Maurice decided to create a private limited liability company – Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd. – with a share capital of $360,000. All family held shares in the old firm were transferred to the new company, of which Maurice became Governing Director.

Geoffrey, the Company’s future custodian was born in 1942 and the era was one of quiet growth and consolidation for both family and business.

In 1944, No. 13 Broad Street was acquired and the company began a second major expansion.

In 1951, Maurice decided to “go public” in a modest way, increasing Cave Shepherd’s capital base by inviting new investors in. The restructured company’s share capital consisted of 100,000 £ 1 preference shares, which were fully taken up. Maurice became Managing Director of the newly capitalised company.

In 1955, the Company remodelled its premises at the back of No. 13 Broad Street. The next year, the Company celebrated 50 years in business.

To serve local shoppers and visitors there were now 19 departments spread over 30,000 square feet of floor space. Some of the prominent departments included Liberty products, cosmetics, perfume, sweets, cigarettes, writing cases, liquor, bone china, mens suitings and toys. Also housed on the premises were the Ideal Agency (an affiliated trading company), and an insurance agency.

In 1958, the lobbying efforts of Maurice Cave and others were paid off when the Drawback of Duty Act was passed. The legislation’s purpose was to heighten the allure of Barbados as a tourist destination. Coupled with the establishment of the Barbados Board of Tourism, it was a development which pleased Maurice whose sights were now on the growing visitor clientele.

In 1958, a Cave Shepherd outlet was opened in Hastings, followed by an outlet established at the Airport. Next, in the early ‘60s, came a branch at the Bridgetown Harbour, designed to capitalise on the fast-growing cruise ship market.

By the mid sixties, Cave Shepherd embarked on yet another modernization program. Some departments were closed and others, such as ladies fashions, were given more space.

Cave Shepherd was now in the vanguard of Caribbean retail and with this in mind Geoffrey was shipped off to Britain where Geoffrey did a three-month stint at Selfridges in 1965.

Cave Shepherd’s 1965/66 modernisation program paid excellent dividends, store sales surged in 1967 and 1968 and in 1969 turnover was up by a whopping 60 per cent. What came next was completely unexpected.

On the evening of December 10, 1969, two weeks before Christmas, the store was ‘jam-packed’ with seasonal merchandise. By 10pm that night, the building was a blazing inferno. By early morning, everything was gone. Barbadians could hardly believe it when, exactly four days later; on December 15, 1969, Cave Shepherd reopened for business from a rented location at the corner of James and Lucas Streets. By the end of December, rented premises had also been found at 27 Broad Street, and in September 1970, a third place of business was opened on Victoria Street, parallel to Broad Street, one block away.

Just 27 years old, Geoffrey joined the firm, although Maurice would continue as Chairman until his death five years later, it was Geoffrey who would steer the ship from now on and take the company into the next century.

In 1971, the company launched one of the islands first major Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). No investment was too small and many Barbadians bought into Cave Shepherd with a token few hundred dollars. Among the subscribers were a substantial number who seemed more interested in saving the company rather than in making money. The offering was soon over subscribed, having attracted some 2,000 shareholders and raised $2 million. This sum was matched by the Cave family with $3 million investment from the old company holdings. So great was their confidence in the store’s future that 200 staff members stepped forward to purchase 100,000 shares. Another 100,000 were given free to staff as “a measure of appreciation of past services”. Thus was born a new version of the old company. Now publicly-owned and capitalised at $5 million. Its purpose was to take over the business and working assets of the firm, subject to liabilities, and to rebuild the store on Broad Street with all due speed.

In 1972, a new branch opened its doors at Sunset Crest on the island’s West Coast. To come was the flagship store in Bridgetown, which took place on October 2, 1972. It was the most modern of its kind in the Caribbean. “Designed by Tomlin Associates of Barbados and built by Clarence Johnson Associates of Antigua, with interior layout and décor by Cameron McIndoo of Canada.

Besides the company’s 75th Anniversary, 1981 marked another milestone. For the first time Cave Shepherd established a satellite operation overseas; Miami-based Cave Shepherd Inc. was established to improve efficiency, cost control and timing of imports coming from the United States. Sold to its management in the 1990s, this operation still thrives today under the name of ERP Exports Inc.

In 1988, the company embarked on a $4 million renovation and expansion, its first major capital project since rebuilding in 1972. The result was an ultra modern building covering expanded square feet of floor space.

Several sections of the enlarged store were concessionaire-run. Later, concessionaires would take over many other lines long associated with Cave Shepherd, including toys, audio and electronics, linens and luggage, children’s and babies clothing, ladies apparel, costume jewellery and haberdashery. By 1992, about 15% of the business had moved to the concessionaire system.

In the late 1980s, Cave Shepherd launched its own easily obtainable credit card. By 2005, over 40,000 people were cardholders.

In June 1993, Cave Shepherd launched a 50/50 joint venture with Courts (Barbados) Ltd., a popular local furniture and appliance store. “Contempo”, as the new ‘store within a store’ was called operated from the top floor of the Broad Street premises.

The buoyant mood which had driven the company’s 1988 expansion did not last. Soon, Barbados’ economic difficulties began to cast their shadow over the company’s balance sheet – sales dipped as consumers felt the pinch. Then profits plummeted by 30% and it was clear that difficult decisions would need to be made.

Accordingly, after ending its long association with jeweller, J Baldini, Cave Shepherd entered a new business venture with Colombian Emeralds International, an established luxury retailer since 1980, with stores in the Bahamas,

St. Maarten, St. Croix, Antigua, St. John and St. Lucia. In 1992, Colombian Emeralds International (Barbados) Ltd opened its first duty free shopping facility at the Grantley Adams International Airport, and soon after that, two other shops; one on the ground floor of the Broad Street store and a spanking new 4,000 square foot jewellery store at No. 24 Broad Street. This was a bright spot on a cloudy sky and a harbinger of things to come.

Some solutions were more painful however and at the end of 1992, the company closed its Hastings branch followed by the Speightstown Branch in 1993.

In 1993, the picture had begun to brighten. Cave Shepherd’s diversification strategy was taking hold and profits were improving.

A Stock Split was announced in 1993 and a 25% dividend increase was declared. It was clear that the company had no intention of letting up its efforts to reconfigure itself. The company planned to go offshore to other Caribbean islands and “take an interest in a regional airline”. The public/private sector cooperation in establishing the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal of which Cave Shepherd, amongst others, had an interest was starting to bear fruit in the mid-1990s

Almost 90 years after Cave Shepherd first set sail, a second R. G. Cave – Ronald Geoffrey, this time, stood before shareholders to announce the launch of a new business. The venture was a mutual fund company – Fortress Fund Managers Ltd. – and it was captained by Roger Cave, a Canadian-trained chartered accountant and the fourth successive Cave to be involved in the business. Cave Shepherd held 37.5% of the shares in Fortress, and backers included Barbados Shipping & Trading Ltd and the Nation Corporation. The first product off the shelf was the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, a regional mutual fund investing primarily in companies listed on Caribbean stock exchanges. Other funds launched later include the Fortress Caribbean Property Fund, High Interest Fund and the new Caribbean Pension Fund for Defined Contribution Schemes.

The Cave Shepherd of 2000 was a very different enterprise from that launched in 1906 by R. G. Cave and J. P Shepherd. Its evolution had been gradual, yet continual, with the bulk of the change occurring under Geoffrey Cave’s leadership. By 2000, the transformation of Cave Shepherd into a holding (or parent) company for a myriad of enterprises was almost complete, with its major interests falling into three main categories – retail, tourism and financial services.

The demise of Europe’s duty free regime and the steady growth of tourism in the Caribbean did not pass unnoticed. The idea to sink all of the retail operations in Barbados and the wider Caribbean into a new Caribbean entity focusing on the duty free trade was contemplated. A suitable partner was found in Dufry International AG (formerly Weitnauer Holding Ltd) and a 50:50 joint venture was formed in 2000. Thus on October 1, 2000, the new company, Duty Free Caribbean (Holdings) Ltd, was established. Its objective was to unite the strengths of both partners, thereby creating a strong regional company. Long time, competitor, Harrisons, was acquired a year later.

In 2005, the company joined forces with United Insurance Company Limited and Grace Kennedy & Company Ltd of Jamaica. Together, the three firms purchased General Finance Corporation, renamed Signia Financial Group Inc. Signia’s business plans showed the potential for “considerable development in future years”.

The Cave Shepherd of today is a complex, flexible, multi-focused organisation, charged with keeping watch over a diversified portfolio of businesses spread across many jurisdictions.

Throughout its transformations, the company has held fast to an old tradition – that of placing utter trust and confidence in its own team members, believing not so much in their perfection as in their potential, their ability and their sound judgement.

The crew which has been handpicked to take the contemporary Cave Shepherd forward is lean, creative, competent and committed. And it is youthful. The ship’s future is not in doubt.

Sensitivity to trends, realism, adaptability, respect for others, public trust, inclusive management and imaginative Board development – these are among the factors identified by staff and others to explain Cave Shepherd’s survival through an epic, sometimes turbulent 100-year journey, from wholesale and retail to concessionairing and joint venturing, from public-private partnerships to inter-social collaboration, from modest family venture to corporate colossus.

Cave Shepherd has learnt its lessons well. Today, decision-making in the company rests largely on three pillars – sheer entrepreneurial instinct, a hard assessment of pertinent trends and events (local, regional and global), and a fundamental understanding that human beings count more than profits. It is a strange fact, but – as the company’s directorate can affirm – profits flow best when human considerations predominate.