Caribbean-American Heritage Month Spotlight: Kris Persaud

Caribbean-American Heritage Month Spotlight: Kris Persaud

Kris Persaud

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA]  –  One of many success stories in South Florida’s Caribbean community, Kris Persaud has roots deep in Guyana’s West Coast Demerara region. Gold spoons were nowhere to be seen when he was growing up there in the 1970’s. And, he has never forgotten those tough days.

It is one of the reasons he is involved in an ambitious gas and oil project there. Funded at a cost $150 million, he describes the venture as “one of the largest private infrastructure projects ever constructed in Guyana.”

Persaud was influenced to revive his hometown’s fortunes after its once-thriving sugar industry capitulated. He had family and friends who made their living from that sector and many were left unemployed.

“Our project aims to service the oil and gas sector. As well as to stimulate the overall development of the West Bank and growth of the wider Guyanese economy. We have assembled a world-class team of companies with proven track records of success in oil and gas development projects across the globe,” said Persaud.

Portfolio of Companies

Known in South Florida business circles as a principal of Home Owners Choice, Oxbridge Reinsurance Company and the Jamaica Tallawahs cricket team, Persaud is the youngest of seven children born to Indo-Guyanese parents. Spurred by his father, he left Guyana as a teenager and moved to the United States where he earned a degree in civil engineering from City College of the City University of New York.

While he is a certified engineer in Florida, New York and California, Persaud has made his name in South Florida real estate. He moved to the region in 1995 and immediately saw opportunities in that sector.

“When I got involved in Florida real estate in the late ‘90s/early 2000s there was a lot of uncertainty. Many property owners were in serious trouble, and needed to divest their properties quickly,” he recalled. “Back then, there wasn’t a huge market for distressed properties. I was a pioneer in repositioning these types of assets. Now there is a boom in the marketplace despite the pandemic.”

Home Owner’s Choice was established in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when there was an explosion in insurance premiums. Persaud helped build a team that formed a company to tackle this troubling issue; through what he calls “creative financing and excellent management”, it currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Jamaica Tallawahs

In 2017, he realized a long-held dream of owning a cricket team. Purchasing the Jamaica Tallawahs through his Worldwide Sports Management Group. It has fielded top players such as Chris Gayle and Andre Russell of the West Indies, and Ross Taylor of New Zealand.

For all his success in commerce and sports, the West Demerara project is dear to Kris Persaud.

Humble Beginnings

“I was born and raised in the West Bank of the Demerara River. A place which was and remains, home to some of the poorest communities in Guyana. This is why my latest project on the West Bank is so important. I really want to give back to the people of the West Bank,” he said.

 

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