Category Archives: News

Ved Seereeram – OC in the Spotlight

VED SEEREERAM – Lefroy 1966 Batch and School Captain 1966, fondly known as “TRINI” at school

A documentary video about Ved’s current project “LIFE IN SUGAR”.
Enjoy!

Excerpt from the StockExchange Trinidad website:

VED SEEREERAM – Director Ved Seereeram is a Financial Consultant, advising regional governments and corporations on capital market transactions, risk management and credit administration over the last 13 years. Prior to private consulting, Mr. Seereeram worked for Citibank for 8 years and was the Managing Director of Citicorp Merchant Bank. He spent 10 years at Scotiabank managing major corporate client portfolios. Mr. Seereeram holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a BSc in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies. He was appointed to the Board of First Citizens Bank Limited on December 31, 2010 and to the Boards of First Citizens Securities Trading Limited, First Citizens Investment Services Limited, First Citizens Brokerage and Advisory Services Limited and First Citizens Investment Services (Barbados) Limited in January 2011. Approval was received on April 5, 2012 for Mr. Seereeram to sit on the Board of FCCR –First Citizens Costa Rica S.A., and he was appointed to the Board of First Citizens Bank (Barbados) Limited on August 27, 2012. Mr. Seereeram also manages a 60 acre farm with over 35 acres planted in trees and the remainder allocated to sugar cane as feedstock for a small sugar cane factory. In 2013, he received an award from UNESCO for dedicated work to Humanity, Society and Environment.”


Ved’s impressive bio [partial] :

1984-1986 Masters of Business Administration
University of Western Ontario
London, Canada
1975-1978 Bachelor of Science in Management Studies
University of the West Indies
St. Augustine Campus
First Class Honours (Recipient of the Hugh Springer Award)
1972-1974 A levels
Extra Mural Studies
University of the West Indies
1961-1965 Senior Cambridge
Bishop Cotton School
Simla, India
1995-1998
Managing Director – Citicorp Merchant Bank Limited
Country Treasurer – Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago) Ltd
Vice President – Citibank

·   Managed capital market activities including the origination of primary issues and distribution in the local market

  • Originated, structured and distributed over TT$2.0 billion in transactions generating over TT$100.0 million in fee and trading income
  • Structured and placed over USD50.0 million in Zero Coupon Bonds in the local market
  • Managed asset portfolio of over TT$2.0 billion
  • Managed a staff of 7 with responsibilities covering all areas of Merchant Banking and Treasury Management
  • Member of Executive Management Committee, Asset/Liability Committee, Credit Committee and Investment Committee of Citibank and Citicorp Merchant Bank
  • Managed the bank’s liquidity and price risk
  • Recruited and trained staff in the Treasury department in all areas of risk management
  • Recruited and trained staff in all areas of Merchant Banking including financial engineering
1993-1995 Assistant Vice President responsible for Product Development
Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited
  • Developed and marketed several new financial products for the local market
  • Coordinated product managers, tax consultants, accounting and legal professionals for the development of product programmes for convertible bonds, zero coupon bonds, indexed certificate of deposit, interest rate swaps, covered interest arbitrage, currency options and fx trading
  • Developed several innovative financial products to reduce banks funding costs
  • Spearheaded the development of derivatives in the local market to local clients to manage their interest rate, commodity and currency price risk
  • Successfully executed over USD100.0 million in interest rate swaps
  • Developed the first interest rate swap in local currency
  • Member of Citibank consulting team as consultant to the Duke/Tenneco consortium in their bid for the power generation in Trinidad
  • Lead Citibank financial advisory team on Severn Trent successful bid for the local Water Authority Management Contract
  • Originated and structured a TT$450.0 million bond issue collateralized by the first original issue Government zero coupon bond issued in the country
1990 –1993 Manager – Corporate Bank
Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited
  • Managed and marketed a portfolio of corporate accounts comprising Government and selected state enterprises in the manufacturing and petroleum sectors
  • Analyzed complex multi- million dollar credits and made recommendations to the bank’s local and regional credit committees
1986 -1990 Scotiabank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited
  • Managed and marketed a portfolio of Government and corporate accounts covering several industries including petroleum and petrochemical, motor vehicle industry, cement, paint, financial and other manufacturing.
  • Responsible for business development and portfolio growth
  • Managed delinquent accounts to effect collections
  • Supervised and administered credit loan applications from retail branch network
  • Liased closely with Scotiabank International Division in Canada in the execution of duties
1980 – 1984 positions with Senior Account Manager and other managerial
SPECIAL OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT
·   Assisted Citibank Philippines in the development of capital market products

·   Assisted Citibank Colombia in the development of capital market products

·   Member of Citibank’s Capital Market Task Force to develop structured capital market products in the Caribbean and Central American region

Newest book by Ravi Rikhye

Ravi Rikhye Curzon 1962 batch needs no introduction to many OCs. For those who are reading about him for the first time, here is what he has to say in the Introduction of his latest book “Analysis of India’s Ability to Fight a 2-front War 2018” :

I’ve spent 58-years studying defense, either full-time or part-time depending on the job situation. My output has been small for all those years, perhaps 30 books including four novels, ten annuals, two co-authored, and five refused publication permissions by Government of India. The reason is I study mainly what I want, and mostly that doesn’t translate into a monograph or book. I dropped out of college in my senior year; since I planned to go back I did not get my first degree until 29-years later. Subsequently, I’ve acquired a second bachelor’s and am working on a seventh masters. After completing one doctoral thesis (not submitted as I have been unable to pay the fees), I began another in conjunction with study for a third. Degrees are simply pieces of paper saying the holder has completed prescribed work. They don’t prove one knows much. Studying continuously has a negative side: the more one learns, the more one finds how little one knows. My intention was to have this up on Kindle by March, in anticipation of the next round at Doklam. For readers’ information, there will be no resumption of the Doklam crisis. China has built its road to Jampheri Ridge, which is where the trouble started in the first place. And China has moved in a combined arms brigade, plus reinforced its previously minimal fighter air presence. Meanwhile, GOI has been busy diplomatically and politically kow-towing to the Chinese. In my opinion, the next crisis will be at another point, perhaps…..”

[Editor: We are including a link to Amazon India, for those in other locations – please search by the book title or ASIN: B07HM5LKWG ].

Here is an excerpt from the book:

“The analysis asks one question and has one answer: Can India fight a two-front war against China and Pakistan? The answer is it cannot. Because of the China-Pakistan alliance, we cannot fight even a one-front war: engaging in a war with either adversary runs the risk of weakening the other front, leaving it open to exploitation. The solution, fortunately, is straightforward: build a 2-front war capability. The next problem is equally straightforward: The Government of India is determined not to spend money on defense. Today spending is down to 1.56% of GDP, lower even than in 1962. And we know how that ended. It takes little imagination to foresee what would have happened if 1962 had become 2-front: Pakistan would have walked over Punjab, perhaps all the way to Delhi, and we would have lost Kashmir too. If we chose to defend Punjab, we would have lost the North East Frontier Agency, now called Arunachal. If we tried to defend both fronts, we would have lost both.

For a strong defensive posture, we need to spend the 3 – 3.5% of GDP we spent 1963-1990, both to modernize and to raise eight more divisions that is the minimum needed. To negotiate from strength, we need 4%+ and to recover our lost territories we need 6%. Our spending is 1.6% of GDP, lower even than the 1.9% of 1962….”

AN ABSOLUTE PILLAR OF BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL JOHN WHITMARSH KNIGHT – passed on

AN ABSOLUTE PILLAR OF BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL
JOHN WHITMARSH KNIGHT

I am deeply deeply grieved to be the bearer of sad news…

A noble soul a gentleman and a scholar, my mentor since 1999 though I can swear by The Almighty that he was omnipresent in me from the day I was born, John Whitmarsh Knight breathed his last, last evening Friday ( 9th Nov 2018) TBC ….. I was informed. I sit here in Delhi and whirl of memories of this amazing gentleman are hovering around me….

He was the most honest, transparent and forthright Gentleman and I was Blessed to have known him … I spent years in Weybridge with him and he taught me the path to becoming a well formed human being…

..whilst in the UK under the auspices of the OCA UK we orchestrated his tenure at the greatest school in the planet : OUR BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… he worked tirelessly in School and he not only taught English but was a mentor to the boys …

he looked at the world with the widest photo lens and the boys during his years looked up to him to as a Global Citizen who played his part in giving them an all around education …

My Brother Sharat and his wife Rupa ALWAYS hosted him in transit to School and the UK at their place in Gurgaon…

John was steadfast in his views and saw the world in Black and White .. he stayed away from politics and intrigues and falsehood … and his own tuition and guidance was under his Uncle Tubby Whitmarsh Knight… John was School Captain, Rugby Captain at Dulwich College where Ernest Shackleton and PG Wodehouse hailed from …

He strived to instill good noble values in the Boys at BCS…(he never forgave me for his termination at BCS .. due to ill health.. “ VIVEK , I could have lived in Chandigarh and continued to have mentored to Boys if they chose to visit me… as I WISHED to die in India…”)

I am weeping incessantly for John Whitmarsh… he passed away all alone … a confirmed Bachelor in Addlestone / Weybridge…

I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO HEAD MASTER MR ROY ROBINSON TO HAVE AN EXTENDED SERVICE FOR JOHN WHITMARSH KINGHT
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO ALL THE OCA CHAPTER MEMBERS, COTTONIANS WORLD WIDE TO PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS ABSOLUTE SUPERB GENTLEMAN WHO LOVED INDIA, DEEPLY LOVED BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… HE WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR DURING THE SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS ( ALWAYS IN THE BACK GROUND)
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO
THE OCA UK CHAIRMAN TO PLEASE ARRANGE A VERY BEFITTING TRIBUTE AND FUNERAL FOR JOHN….

I am not sure who is there for John and his beautiful belongings ..??

“ John…. Thank You Sir for being a part of my life… I can see you sitting in your lounge surrounded by your 2000 Books … looking at your garden and reciting quotes from Shakespeare, Keats, Shelly and Wordsworth…… someday Sir… I too will meet you .. in that special garden.. so we can continue ….”

AMEN
Vivek Bhasin