Mr. Fernando, who is the Executive Vice President of Global Business Services at American Express, New York, succeeds Deshamanya Ken Balendra upon the latter’s retirement after 10 years as Chairman of Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter.
Ken Balendra’s involvement with Brandix precedes the incorporation of the company. He was persuaded to join the Board of Phoenix Ventures Limited, the holding company of Brandix, in October 2001, and will continue as its Chairman after relinquishing chairmanship of Brandix. Mr. Balendra was appointed the founder Chairman of Brandix on 1st June 2003.
During his decade of leadership at Brandix, Mr. Balendra was instrumental in the adoption by the company of the corporate and reporting structures and the values of a public listed company, even though the company is privately owned.
This included the formation of audit and remuneration committees; best practices in corporate governance, risk management, corporate social responsibility and sustainability; and the production of annual reports, establishing a high degree of transparency. Mr. Balendra also provided visionary leadership for expansion and growth that saw Brandix triple its earnings and venture into India and Bangladesh during his tenure.
Referring to Mr. Balendra’s successor, Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar said: “Over the past two and a half years on the Board, Priyan Fernando has made valuable contributions to the growth of Brandix, and his extensive experience in corporate affairs at the global level has been of immense benefit. His appointment as Chairman will ensure that the strong leadership provided by Mr. Balendra will be continued.”
Brandix’s new Chairman is based at the American Express World Headquarters in New York. He heads the organisation that provides key business operations functions including Finance, Procurement, Real Estate Services, Human Resources and Business Transformation for the American Express enterprise worldwide.
Mr. Fernando was instrumental in establishing Financial Shared Servicing at American Express, which provided global financial services to the entire company from just three locations around the world. He holds an MBA from Indiana University in the United States and has also served as President of the Global Customer Group and Chief Operating Officer of American Express Business Travel.
In this capacity, he led the globalisation and transformation of service delivery at American Express Business Travel to create a common customer experience, reflective of its brand around the world. Prior to this, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the Global Corporate Card and Travel Businesses.
Mr. Fernando is a member of the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). He has served on the Advisory Council of the Conference Board, the International Committee of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of the UK and the Board of Rearden Commerce. He is currently serving on the Advisory Council of the New York City Leadership Centre. A Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Management Accountant, Mr. Fernando is a Fellow member of these Institutes.
Consequent to Mr. Balendra’s retirement and Mr. Fernando’s appointment, the Board of Directors of Brandix Lanka comprises of Messrs Priyan Fernando (Chairman), Ashroff Omar (Chief Executive Officer), Aslam Omar, Feroz Omar, Trevine Jayasekara, Ajit Johnpillai and Udena Wickremesooriya.
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