Born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies, Peter Bunting is a Banker by profession. He attended Campion College, graduated in 1977 and holds a BSc Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, Canada.
Born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies, Peter Bunting is a Banker by profession. He attended Campion College where he graduated in 1977. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, then later an MBA in Finance from The University of Florida. He grew up believing that hard work and dedication were two of the main ingredients for success. He had all the traditional values of the farming community he grew up in, some of which were founded on family. He has used those values to become one of the most successful businessmen in Jamaica.
When other young men his age were pursuing other interests and trying to decide on their career path, Peter, along with two friends he had met while he was enrolled at Campion College, formed a partnership and founded an investment bank.
Those 2 partners and friends were Mark Golding and Chris Dehring with the entity aptly named Dehring, Bunting and Golding Limited (DBG). The bank was formed in 1992 just prior to the financial meltdown in Jamaica; it slowly gained a reputation of being progressive and innovative. DBG solidified its place in the market when it took a huge gamble; not being fully established and being successfully listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. This listing provided the bank with the capital that was required to operate and put it in the limelight through the daily reporting of listed stocks. Christopher Dehring proficiently ran DBG in the very early years; but from 1996 onwards, it was Peter Bunting who was in charge of the day- to-day operations.
DB&G went on to win awards on the Jamaica Stock Exchange for being the best performing company in 2005 and 2006 then later the Governor General’s Award for excellence in 2006 under his ownership.
Peter Bunting’s career in banking actually started at Citibank from 1985 to 1987 where he started out as an Account Officer of the Corporate Banking Group then later became the Manager of Specialized Finance. He was recruited by established businessmen O.K. Melhado and Clifton Cameron in 1988 to start Manufacturers Merchant Bank (MMB). He served as CEO and built MMB in the same “Wall Street” mould as Citibank. He was well-supported by another ex-Citibanker, Andrew Cocking. Together, they saw the MMB (which later became the largest independent merchant bank in Jamaica), gain robust growth and strong profitability up until 1990/1991 when Bunting decided he would take a break from Banking.
Early Political Life
When Bunting left MMB, not many knew he would have become such a prominent figure in Jamaican politics. His father, Juan Bunting, was one of Jamaica’s more established farmers and a member of the People’s National Party. Bunting’s hiatus was indeed the commencement of laying the groundwork for the role he was to play later as a Politician.
Stint in the Public Sector
In the early days practicing politics, Bunting was appointed advisor to then Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Rt. Hon. Michael Manley of the People’s National Party. He was then asked to act in the capacity of CEO of the National Investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ).
At the NIBJ, he gained extensive knowledge and experience in the use of private and public banking funds as funding sources in manufacturing, agriculture, housing and road construction and other types of development.
Bunting’s first major Chairmanship was as the Chairman of Dehring Bunting & Golding. He also served as the Chairman of the National Water Commission, and the Chairman of JAMPRO which has since been renamed Jamaica Trade and Invest.
Peter Bunting’s political career actually began in earnest in 1993, when he defeated Hugh Shearer to win the seat Shearer had held in Southern Clarendon. This, of course, following the earlier stint in politics in 1990 by acting as advisor to Michael Manley
He served as MP up to 1996; but then after a “back-bencher’s” row within the PNP, he decided to return to Banking on a full-time basis, taking up the lead role at DBG.
From the mid 1990’s, DBG capitalized on earlier growth and the funds that were raised on the JSE catapulted them to being one of the most dynamic and most recognized financial institutions in Jamaica and quite possibly in the Caribbean.
The Bank built a solid track record of discovering creative financial solutions, structuring them and successfully taking them to market. As with DBG’s reputation, Bunting’s reputation also grew. With strong growth and profitability, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Jamaica’s most profitable commercial bank came calling in 2005. Not directly mentioning the purchase price, it is widely believed that the shareholders got a great deal.
Return to Politics
After DBG, Bunting again took another hiatus; but many speculated that the return to politics was imminent. In fact, he so did and in 2007 defeated in a very close race Sally Porteous by a small margin to claim a seat that was considered a traditional JLP seat.
Bunting has not looked back since. He has served Parliament on many committees and is very active in policy making and legislative work. In 2011, the most recent general elections, he again narrowly defeated the highly touted Danville Walker and is now the sitting Minster of National Security.
His work in the development of skills and education was exhaustive, In order to enhance the quality of education that was offered at the primary level in his constituency, he had two new schools built - Anna Miller Basic School and Bellefield Primary.
At the Manchester High School, Peter has contributed to the infrastructure of the school; namely, the re-roofing of a classroom block, while also providing fencing and a water tank for May Day Basic School and the completion of Royal Flat Basic School.
He was instrumental in converting the office that was used by the MPs to accommodate the constituents as a home work and resource center. At the center, the constituents are able to use the computers, get access to free internet and printing. The facility is used by hundreds of students who do research, printing and school work. Adults are also able to use the facilities for evening classes and are taught by volunteers.
He has also assisted several schools with their funding towards their Sports Program, and provided over twelve hundred (1,200) students of the primary, secondary and tertiary level with tuition grants, books and uniforms.
For Labour Day projects, he has supplied building materials to developmental projects across the constituency.
For the past 4 years, he has sponsored the constituency’s football league, which is also known as George’s Valley Corner League.
He has assisted with the Comfort Community Computer Centre development.
He has provided welfare grants for hundreds of people.
Ongoing Entrepreneurial Work
Just when most thought Bunting had left banking for good, he along with Christopher Williams and other past colleagues returned in 2010. Their project: Proven Wealth Management, which was supposed to help mid-sized companies raise capital more efficiently. He also served as Chairman for awhile; but with the recent political victory and subsequent assignment as the Minister of national Security, he has resigned his post.
Peter Bunting is currently unmarried and the father of two children, Emma and Brent.