Barbados’ sun-splashed coastlines and gentle Caribbean breezes make it easy for tourism to be King of the island’s economy.
But when one takes a closer look at the country’s other great resources – its friendly and intelligent people; its stable economic, financial and political arenas; and its excellent standards of education and modern business infrastructure – it’s just as easy to see why the international offshore banking and finance sector is fast finding a home on these shores.
The international banking sector first took root in Barbados in the late 1970’s, and if any one person were credited with having planted and nurtured this now an invaluable branch of our economy, that person would be none other than Dr. Trevor Carmichael, Queen’s Counsel.
Like many other Barbadians who have made their mark in the island’s professional sphere, Dr. Carmichael has always believed in setting his best foot forward and striving to achieve all that was possible within the realm of an opportunity afforded him.
Dr. Carmichael spent his growing-up days living with his family in town during the school term and visiting the country-side during vacation time. He attended Harrison College, one of the island’s most prestigious schools (founded in 1733), and while there was named Captain of both the school’s junior soccer and cricket teams.
Upon graduation, Dr. Carmichael went on to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica – a trip made by many a young Barbadian scholar – to study international relations, economics and law.
After this he immigrated to North America to study for his Master’s at Case Western University in Ohio, and then received his Doctorate from Wayne State University in Michigan.
Later, he read for the English Bar and was admitted in 1977.
His father was a Law Barrister, and Dr. Carmichael admits that he not so much “followed in his father’s footsteps”, but more so chose to pursue his studies in law” as an act of a dutiful son.”
And today this act of duty has paid dividends to an entire nation.
Barbados today enjoys a healthy and respected reputation among the world’s top international banking and finance players.
It has developed a comprehensive legislative framework, much of which has been modeled with the help of Dr. Carmichael himself, and this sector of the island’s economy is gaining in both its present-day importance as well as its potential for the future.
But life does not stop here for this extraordinary lawyer. Dr. Carmichael is also an author of note, having penned legal academic textbooks, some of which – like “Commonwealth Caribbean Trusts Law” – have become staples within the university system.
A man for all seasons and of varied passions and interests, Dr. Carmichael also serves as an international trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, a worldwide programme which provides personal development opportunities for young people ages 14 – 25 years old.
As an avid environmentalist with a love for Barbadian heritage, Mr. Carmichael served as President of the Barbados National Trust for 4 years, and is currently the President of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, having served in this position for the past 15 years.
Article written in 2006 and compliments of “Ins and Outs of Barbados” Magazine