Arthur Lok Jack is regarded as a titan in entrepreneurial circles.
So it was only fitting that Lok Jack, former chairman of the Massy Group, be given a hero’s send-off by his business colleagues. He served Massy as chairman from 2004 till July 17 this year.
He was chairman at Neal & Massy Holdings, which was the Group’s previous name.
The event took place Friday at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. Among those present were Massy’s chief executive officer Gervase Warner, and incoming chairman Robert Bermudez.
They were joined by Lok Jack’s wife Glenda, son Nicholas Lok Jack, Finance Minister Larry Howai, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Catherine Kumar and St Augustine Campus principal Prof Clement Sankat.
During his remarks, Lok Jack, 70, said the conglomerate’s strengths stemmed from its ability to cultivate its own leadership. He also paid kudos to Massy trailblazers including retired chairman Sidney Knox, former CEO Jesus R Pazos and chairman of the Integrity Commission Ken Gordon.
Expounding upon Massy’s leadership skills, Lok Jack said: “It operates about 72 companies and developed them into what they are today. Each has its own CEO and general manager who conduct operations. While they are part of a group, we have 72 institutions and we have divisional heads. About ten will report to a divisional head. In that structure, we have leaders who are going up right through.”
Lok Jack added: “They will get a fairly good view of the companies within the group. They all have profit and loss responsibility and balance sheet responsibility. We grow our own leaders through this mechanism. And when time comes to replace them we don’t have a problem to replace them. They all go on various leadership courses, and to different universities abroad. It is a company that grows its own leadership. There is a strong culture of loyalty. The past and current leaders have brought us to where we are. We are at this point of success because of the other leaders who have gone before. Sidney Knox built it into a fantastic conglomerate.”
Warner said Lok Jack was an amazing connector, problem solver, patriot, supporter and friend. He also shared little vignettes about Lok Jack, whom he considered his mentor.
“Although he is known as a formidable businessman, he is a mushy loving father. If you have seen the problem and he has seen it, then you need to come with a fresh new problem,” he said.
“It has been an experience learning from you and being mentored by you,” said Warner.