The JN Group Pays Tribute to Oliver Clarke

    The Boards of Directors of Jamaica National celebrate the life and work of the Hon. Oliver F. Clarke, Chairman of The Jamaica National Group.

    Oliver Clarke’s tremendous impact on the business and media landscape in Jamaica spans more than five decades. He was instrumental in the transformation of the local building society movement, by encouraging the expansion of building societies from parish-based entities into urban organisations, while maintaining the strong mandate to serve its members.

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    Tributes to Oliver Clarke

    I met Oliver in 1970 & observed his knowledge, management style & early initiatives: merger & computerization (my assignment) ETC which benefited JN & me directly. I commend his achievements. - Llewelyn Bailey
    Oliver Clarke was a visionary, a pioneer and a conceptualizer. His memories will stay with us for a very long time. May his soul rest in peace. - Desmond Dawkins
    Oliver Clarke has positively impacted my worklife at JN. He did his stint of nation building and will be missed. - Michael A. Collins, JNBank
    Oliver Clarke was an excellent leader, mentor and business man who got things done. We will miss his guidance. Condolences to Monica, Alex and family. - Raphael Gordon
    Rest in peace Mr. Clarke, Gone but never forgotten - Caren Sahadath
    A great Jamaican who contributed greatly to Jamaica's National development. Sleep in peace. - Winsome Senior
    With the passing of the Oliver, Jamaica has lost a business icon of irreplaceable value. His business acumen, strength of personality and benevolence to many was legendary. May his soul RIP.
    Oliver Clarke was the chairman of the Gleaner Company when I worked there back in the late 1980s. Along with the late editor Dr. Dudley Stokes, he supported my ideas as a young reporter. I remember him positively. - Michael Conally
    Farewell Mr. Clarke. Your contribution to the development of The Jamaica National Group will never be forgotten. - Tonya Grant
    For decades, Oliver straddled the Jamaican business community like a colossus. ... He may very well be lionised for the monumental role he played in moving The Gleaner Company into one of the most powerful newspapers in the English-speaking Caribbean ... . For those who knew him, Oliver was more than a media giant. His role in shaping the development of the nation as a leader of the local private sector can never be discounted. - Andrew Holness, Prime Minister
    “Under his chairmanship, Jamaica National has become firmly established as a multinational business, including banking and other financial entities, technology, insurance, property management, and automotive services. Today it is recognised as one of the top 10 companies from the Caribbean to the world. He maintained JN Group’s ownership structure as a mutual organisation, owned by its members and customers.” – Earl Jarrett, CEO, JN Group

    Oliver F Clarke born, Son of Hon. Eric Hugh Clarke, farmer and businessman (deceased) and Zena Clarke, nee Whitelocke (deceased)

    October 19, 1944

    Educated at DeCarteret College, Mandeville, Jamaica

    Attended Sherborne School, United Kingdom

    Graduate, BSc, Economics, London School of Economics, United Kingdom


    Returned to Jamaica

    Assistant General Manager, Westmoreland Building Society


    Jamaica National Building Society undertook mergers and name change


    General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society

    1971 - 1976

    Invited by Chairman of the Gleaner Company, Leslie Ashenheim to join the Gleaner


    Managing Director, Gleaner Company Limited

    May 1976 – January 2011

    Founding member, The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)


    Appointed Justice of the Peace for the Parish of Kingston

    July 1977

    Chairman, Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS)

    1977 – 1997

    Launches J$4 million Debenture for the Gleaner Company, which was oversubscribed

    1977 – 1978

    Chairman, Gleaner Company Limited

    Awarded Order of Jamaica, fourth highest national honour

    April 1979

    Received Americas Award from the Americas Foundation


    Inducted into the Private Sector Hall of Fame, PSOJ


    Deputy Chairman, JNBS

    1997 – 2002

    President, Inter-American Press Association (IAPA)

    1997 to 1998

    President, The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)


    Re-appointed Chairman, Jamaica National Building Society


    Caribbean Luminary award, American Foundation for The University of the West Indies


    International Humanitarian Award, American Friends of Jamaica

    April 2006

    Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D), The University of the West Indies

    Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D), University of Tehcnology


    Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, Northern Caribbean University


    Merger of the media operations of The Gleaner Company and Radio Jamaica Limited.

    March 2016

    Change of name from The Gleaner Company Limited to 1834 Investments Limited, to underscore the change of strategic direction and the company’s operation as an independent investment entity

    Deputy Chairman, RJRGleaner

    Chairman, Gleaner Company Media Limited

    March 10, 2016

    Restructuring of Jamaica National Building Society as The Jamaica National Group and launch of JN Bank

    February 2017

    Chairman, Radio Jamaica limited, trading as RJRGleaner Communications Group

    December 11, 2017

    Retired as Chairman of JN Bank and other JN Group companies

    Retired as Chairman of RJRGleaner

    April 2019

    Oliver Clarke passes away

    May 16 2020
    Hon. Oliver F. Clarke, OJ, Hon. LL.D, JP, FCA, B.Sc. (Econ)

    The Hon. Oliver F. Clarke worked with the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) as Assistant General Manager and General Manager from 1971 to 1976.  He served as Chairman of JNBS for two decades, 1977 to 1997 and also served as Deputy Chairman from 1997 until 2002, when he was reappointed Chairman.  In February 2017, Mr Clarke was appointed Chairman of the newly launched subsidiary, JN Bank, as well as the restructured mutual holding companies, The Jamaica National Group and the JN Financial Group.  In April 2019, he demitted chairmanship of both JN Bank and the JN Financial Group and continued as Chairman of The Jamaica National Group until his death on May 16, 2020.

    A Chartered Accountant, Mr Clarke was Managing Director (1976 – 2018) and was Chairman since 1979 of The Gleaner Company (now 1834 Investments Limited).  He was also past President of both The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and The Inter American Press Association.

    In 1990, he received the Americas Award from the Americas Foundation and was inducted into the PSOJ Private Sector Hall of Fame in 1996. The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies recognised him as a Caribbean Luminary in 2004, and in April 2006, the American Friends of Jamaica awarded Mr. Clarke with its International Humanitarian Award.

    In 2009, he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from The University of the West Indies, and also from the University of Technology.  In 2013, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Northern Caribbean University.
    • RJRGLEANER Group leadership hails Oliver Clarke

      The hierarchy of the RJRGLEANER Group, reacting to the passing of Oliver Clarke, has hailed him for his contribution to media while vowing to protect his legacy.

      Clarke, 75, died on Saturday night after a battle with cancer.

      Chief Executive Officer Gary Allen described Clarke as a patriot who stood for media freedom.

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    • Media mogul Oliver Clarke dies at 75

      Oliver Frederick Clarke, the media mogul who stood at the helm of The Gleaner as chairman and managing director for more than four decades, has died.

      Clarke died on Saturday at 9:45 p.m at his St Andrew home, ending his battle with cancer.

      He was 75.

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    • Matalon: Clarke relentlessly pursued the best for Jamaica

      Chairman of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, Joseph Matalon, has expressed sadness at the passing of Oliver Clarke OJ, who lost his battle with cancer yesterday.

      Matalon succeeded Clarke as chairman in May last year.

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    • Mr Oliver Clarke: A patriot attuned to the social inadequacies of his country

      To the manor born, Mr Oliver Clarke, who died Saturday at age 75, had to cope with more than his fair share of political and labour-related conflicts and tensions at the national level, especially at the height of the global ideological Cold War.

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    • Oliver Clarke: Phone calls at dawn from an angry prime minister

      Part 2 of a reprint of Oliver Clarke’s life story captured in the Desmond Allen Interviews and published in the Sunday Observer in 2005. Allen, the founding editor of the Jamaica Observer and award-winning journalist, was at The Gleaner when Clarke arrived in 1976. Clarke died last Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

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