St. Maarten Port hires Ernst&Young for risk assessment

POSTED: 12/23/15 7:51 PM


We’re in a sea of competitors

and many of them are sharks”

St. Maarten – Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo recently signed an agreement with Ernst & Young Advisory Services, to perform an enterprise risk assessment, which will prepare the harbor group of companies for 2016 and beyond.

The assessment deals with the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the activities of an organization to minimize the effects of risk on an organization’s capital and earnings.

Enterprise risk management expands the process to include not just risks associated with accidental losses, but also financial, strategic, operational, and other risks.

The harbor group of companies is government owned, and the board of directors as well as management, have a responsibility to the shareholder to ensure that it operates according to its statutory regulations. At the same time we have to make sure that board and management decisions allow the companies to operate optimally and productively with the least amount of risks,” Mingo said.

External factors influence the operations of a company, and one must be on the ball when it comes to risks management.  Besides the shareholder, the board of directors and management have to also answer to bond holders and other financiers such as banking institutions who are strategic partners in the growth of any organization.” 

Mingo said that it is normal for the shareholder and other entities wanting to scrutinize companies’ risk-management policies and procedures. “The assessment comes out of our annual operational audits which we instituted a few years ago, and in particular from our operational audit actions from November 2014. One has to be answerable on the adequacy of risk-management processes in the organization.  We have to strike a balance between enhancing profits and managing risks.”

The assessment will allow the harbor to chart its future in 2016 and beyond based on data, and information that identifies risks.  “The assessment is a management tool to guide our strategic planning which is in line with good corporate and integrity governance.”

The agreement with Ernst & Young Advisory Services outlines two main phases, identify and diagnose.  The first phase will look at defining roles and responsibilities; meetings with key stakeholders; development of a work plan; and collecting initial set of company data.

The Diagnose phase will identify and understand the harbor group of companies’ key business risks and develop an appropriate risk assessment criteria for use in assessing and prioritizing these key business risks.

Mingo concluded that the benefactors after the assessment will be the shareholder and the 79 employees who represent the thirteen companies’ of the harbor group, who are responsible for approximately one third of the gross national product of the country.

The Enterprise Risk Assessment report will summarize risks and mitigation strategies.  This is essential in going forward in 2016 and beyond.  It will be a guide to our future strategic planning, implementation and investment strategies. As CEO, I do not run the harbor group of companies based on social media comments, but on facts from our international partners and customers.  Country St. Maarten is in a sea of competitors, many of them who are sharks, and we need to be prepared as we have always been to remain the number one port in the region.”

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