Canadian to take helm at BBDC: Lund’s task will be to drive international business growth, attract capital and create jobs
Canadian financial industry veteran Stephen Lund has been named the CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Corporation.
Chosen out of 180 candidates, Mr Lund, 55, is from Canada where he headed up Nova Scotia Business Inc.
He worked for five years in Bermuda in the banking sector.
A statement from the BBDC yesterday said Mr Lund is expected to join the BBDC in mid-August and be responsible for leading, developing and executing a growth strategy that aligns with the goals of the organisation to grow and sustain international business and create on-island jobs.
The BBDC includes the former organisations of Business Bermuda and the Insurance Development Council.
Mr Lund was selected after a global search was conducted in which the BBDC received 180 applications from candidates in Bermuda and from around the world, the BBDC said.
He was the CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc (NSBI), Canada’s business development agency, since its creation in 2001.
BBDC said the NSBI has attracted some of the top companies in the world including IBM, BlackBerry, CITCO, Marsh and Lockheed Martin.
It added NSBI exceeded its goal of helping generate $800 million in direct client payroll during its most recent five-year strategic plan period 2007 to 2012.
During this time, NSBI achieved $1.2 billion in direct client payroll and generated a 43 percent return on investment for Nova Scotia under Mr Lund’s leadership, the BBDC said.
Before joining NSBI, Stephen was vice-president of Working Ventures Canadian Fund, Canada’s largest national venture capital where he led investing activities for the fund in Atlantic Canada. His time in Bermuda included working with both the then Bank of Bermuda and Butterfield Bank.
In 2011, he was inducted into Atlantic Business Magazine’s prestigious Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame, and was recognised by the Dublin-based publication, Financial Centres International, as one of the top 500 most influential people in financial centres worldwide, the statement said.
Caroline Foulger, chair of the BBDC said, “Our focus from the beginning has been on finding the most talented and experienced executive in the marketplace today who has the proven experience to help us create and lead a new organisation that will drive international business growth, attract capital and create jobs in Bermuda.
“Stephen Lund has an exceptional track record as the CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. in doing just those things and we are delighted to have him join our team.”
Minister of Economic Development Grant Gibbons said, “We are in a highly competitive world that requires new ideas and thinking. We need the best, most experienced executives to help lead our efforts.
“Everyone in Bermuda, and particularly in Government, is committed to expanding the workforce and jobs available to Bermudians.
“We are excited that the BBDC has been able to attract someone of Stephen’s calibre. His independent perspective when combined with his experience with Bermuda and more recently, his success in Nova Scotia will be critical to ensuring that we have the right resources, strategies and tactical approach to help Bermuda attract international business and grow our economy. We welcome him to Bermuda again and look forward to his leadership of the BBDC.”
Mr Lund commented: “Bermuda is a highly respected international business centre with a reach that extends far beyond its shores. I am looking forward to returning to Bermuda to lead the BBDC and to work with Bermuda’s business sector and the government to enhance Bermuda’s competitiveness in the global economy.”
The Bermuda Business Development Corporation is a public-private sector partnership that is focused on growing Bermuda’s economy, supporting international business and creating jobs.
Commenting on the appointment, Michael Collier, former President and CEO of Butterfield Bank (retired in 1996) and current chairman of Bermuda Commercial Bank, said: “Stephen is a very accomplished executive who I worked closely with during his time in Bermuda in the 1990s.
“He is a leader who encourages collaboration and team work. I am very pleased that he is returning to Bermuda and taking on the important task of leading the BBDC. He has an understanding of Bermuda, but also brings valuable experience from his work in Nova Scotia that will be critical to formulating strategy and implementing plans to attract international business and capital to the Island which will be a key to economic growth and job creation.”
Mr Lund also drew praise from Greg Wojciechowski, CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
“Stephen is the ideal person to lead the BBDC at this point in its development. I’ve known him professionally for nearly 20 years since he worked in Bermuda at the Bank of Butterfield and Bank of Bermuda,” Mr Wojciechowski said.
“He has a real understanding of the jurisdiction and its international business offering, but as important he’s left the Island and gained important experience and perspective that will be critical to Bermuda’s ability to think creatively, engage strategically and work diligently to drive international business growth.
“He’s created a platform during his work in Nova Scotia that if replicated in Bermuda should be able to yield results. We are fortunate to have him return to Bermuda, bringing his understanding of the global markets and the challenges that smaller financial centres face as they evolve and compete for international business.”
A more recent article on the NSBI stated a payroll rebate programme intended to create up to 12,000 jobs in Nova Scotia has generated about half that figure.
The Canadian Press reported that the NSBI had hoped to hit that job growth target by offering payroll rebates to companies as an incentive to hire.
Despite falling short of its job targets, the rebate programme has been successful in luring private investment to the province, Peter MacAskill, vice-president of Nova Scotia Business Inc told the media
The business development agency says the rebate programme only helped create about 6,000 jobs after companies started receiving the money between 2002 until 2007, the first five years it was in place.
“Payroll rebates were offered to 50 companies in the hopes of creating jobs, usually over a three- to five-year time frame,” the CP said citing NSBI. “Of the $142 million in rebates offered, about $53 million was spent.”