Shareholders approve TelEm’s 2015 budget

POSTED: 01/20/15 8:32 PM

St. Maarten – A review and approval of TelEm’s financial statements for the year 2013, discussion on dividend payments to government for 2013 and a review and approval of the company’s budget and capital expenditures for this year – 2015 were the highlights of the company’s annual general shareholders meeting on Thursday.

The AGSM was held at the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall an in attendance were shareholder representatives in the persons of Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, Minister of education, sport and  culture Rita Bourne-Gumbs; Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, and Telecommunications ,Claret Connor; Minister of Finance, Martin Hassink and Secretary General, C.I. Janssen. The Minister of Justice,Denis Richardson was absent with notice

Prime Minister, Marcel Gumbs, took the opportunity to officially introduce himself  and members of the Council of Ministers to members of the supervisory board of directors and management of the St. Maarten Telecommunication Holding Company N.V.  (SMTHC).  Also in attendance were members of the Supervisory Board of Directors, led by board chairman, Rafael Boasman along with Vice-chairman, P. Marshall; and members, S. Constance; Kenneth Dupersoy and Jairo Bloem.

The Supervisory Board was further supported by the TelEm Group management team consisting of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Helma Etnel, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Eldert Louisa and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Brian Mingo. Following more than four hours of deliberation on a 12-point agenda, management and supervisory board updated the Council of Ministers on the financial and operational aspects of the company and were quizzed in several areas following a number of power-point presentations from Chief Financial Officer, Etnel. The Shareholder Representative thanked TelEm Group management and Supervisory Board for their frank presentations and said he looked forward to meeting with the company representatives very often, since it is important for government-owned companies to work closely with government.

The Minister of Finance went one step further by stating that in many cases, government-owned companies should more closely follow the direction and policies set by government. Chairman of the supervisory board of directors, Rafael Boasman, said the meeting was fruitful and he was especially pleased that management and board were able to make their presentations to the wider Council of Ministers and receive immediate feedback in the form of questions asked.

“Management and board would like to thank the shareholder representative and the Council of Ministers for responding quickly to our request for the Annual General Shareholder’s meeting which was cancelled late last year for a number of reasons and for hearing what we had to say. It is a very positive development for us moving forward,” said Boasman. Similar sentiments where shared by TelEm Group, Chief Financial Officer, Helma Etnel. She said one of the highlights was an undertaking by the Shareholder Representative to encourage brother and sister government-owned companies to work closer together.

“It was an excellent start in bringing the Ministers up to date financially and operationally in the company as well as how monies are being earned and spent. We now look forward to more meetings with the Ministers and the Shareholder to discuss some of these matters further,” said  Etnel.

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