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Nilmini Kumari Fernando succeeds father at Neil Marine & Penthouse

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Neil Marine and the Penthouse Group, Sri Lanka’s leading manufacturer and service provider for fibreglass boats and other marine services, and one of Sri Lanka’s diversified conglomerates, has announced that Ms. Nilmini Kumari Fernando has taken control, management and ownership of the Company. Ms. Fernando succeeds her father, the late Mr. Neil Fernando, Founder Chairman and Owner of Neil Marine and the Penthouse Group of companies, a company news release said.

“Ms. Fernando holds a BSc. in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, USA, along with an LLB (QLD) Hons. from the University of London, UK and an LLM Hons. in International Business and Commercial Law from the University of West London, UK. While employed, she successfully passed the QMS Lead Auditor examination in Mumbai, conducted by Lloyd’s Registrar, UK, and oversaw the entire Group’s ISO /Quality Management System,” it added.

“She has also gained many years of business and industry experience, under the guidance and mentorship of the late Mr. Neil Fernando, making her suitably qualified and experienced to fulfil and discharge the responsibilities and duties of her new role as Chairperson of Neil Marine and the Penthouse Group.”

Commenting on the change in leadership, Ms. Fernando said, “Under the mentorship of my late father, I have gained a holistic understanding of our business operation and established rewarding relationships with our valuable customers in Sri Lanka and abroad. Through my academic pursuits, I have gained a wealth of experience and seen and understood the world at large, particularly in the sphere of international business and the laws and treaties governing it.

“Therefore, relying on the experience I have gained, and the guidance provided to me by my late father, I intend to guide the business into a new era, where we can leverage our strengths and our global relationships to grow stronger, and work with our valued customers, to win together. I take this opportunity to reassure our new and existing customers that, while Mr. Neil Fernando may no longer be with us, his spirit and vision remains stronger than ever at Neil Marine and the Penthouse Group.”

Established in 1969, as a pioneer in the fiberglass boat manufacturing industry in Asia for over 52 years, Neil Marine is one of South Asia’s Largest Fiberglass Boat Builders. To date, the Company has built and supplied over 40,000 vessels and exported more than 2,000 vessels to markets in the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Neil Marine’s portfolio of vessels include fishing boats, commercial & work boats, passenger ferries, patrol & surveillance crafts, luxury motor yachts & cruisers and luxury motor sailors and catamarans, with lengths ranging from 6m to 35m. Neil Marine is an ISO 9001:2008 certified, Sri Lanka BOI approved company. The Company is also approved by the Lloyds Register of Shipping, Det Norske Veritas, American Bureau of Shipping and the Indian Register of Shipping, and is accredited by the IACS (international association of classification societies).

Through its various subsidiaries, collectively referred to as the Penthouse Group, the business is also a diversified conglomerate with interests in associated marine services, including being the sole distributor for both Suzuki Outboard Motors and Doosan Inboard Marine Diesel Engines in Sri Lanka, while also acting as the sole distributor for world renowned Shell lubricants in Sri Lanka. The Group is also involved in the businesses of polyurethane foam products, sewing machines, apparel industry support services and others.



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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