MONDAY MAN: Tannis tall on banking
HOW DOES A money-strapped little boy from a working class family in Barbarees Hill and later The Pine, St Michael, go from packing bags in a supermarket to managing million and billion dollar funds?
If you were to ask Patrick Tannis, he would simply proclaim: “God.” It is because of the Lord’s manifestation in his life that he has been able to accomplish all he has thus far.
Tannis’ resumé is filled with accomplishments in sport, music and, of course, the financial sector.
Relaxing at his Newton, Christ Church home, this Independence baby, as he called himself (he was born November 1, 1966), did not hesitate to tell the DAILY NATION about his credentials, the high-powered and influential people he has met and, for that matter, the interviews he engaged to lend his expertise. But while some may mistake his pride for arrogance, Tannis is quick to note “it isn’t about me” but rather about all God has done.
After graduating from Wesley Hall Junior School, young Tannis moved on to Harrison College where he earned a reputation as a skilful basketballer. It was also there that something he considered amazing happened in his life.
“At Harrison College a group of friends prayed and asked God if He was real, save Tannis. I was popular and deemed the least [person] likely to end up in church. I wasn’t really a church guy . . . but then I got visited by God many times and some amazing [things] started to happen. It ended up with me going to People’s Cathedral and Dan Betzer – he was a visiting preacher – and this guy’s words were like fire. From that I saw that he was preaching words that were different.
“Even though I grew up in church, his words were alive and when he invited me to the altar and he said to start a pray over me, I felt like a thousand pounds were lifted off me,” Tannis added.
From that point he started to go to church and read the Bible more and learnt about God. According to him, his mind opened and he began to see the world differently from that day on.
So much so that Tannis was even invited to minister in the United States and while still a teenager, he did so in song alongside with the famous Alvin Slaughter.
Back home and with the Lord on his side, he graduated from the Barbados Community College with an associate degree in chemistry and biology. However, he was only able to utilise this degree for a limited period since not long after, he began working at the former Bayer factory, an opportunity in the financial sector arose.
It came through a link forged with classmate [Minister of Tourism] Richard Sealy and his parents, [now Sir] Austin and Rita Sealy.
Tannis recounted that the Sealy family had taken a liking to him. Richard was a big supporter of his mastery on the basketball court and so too was the senior Sealy, who was at that time a sports administrator and a banker.
Apparently seeing the young man’s potential, Sir Austin created an opportunity for Tannis to gain employment as a teller at Barclays Bank, what was then one of the largest and oldest banks in the region.
“I paid my way through school working at Big B supermarket, so I had a lot of fun learning and seeing how the business world worked. I wasn’t just packing bags on Friday evenings. The discipline of work was excellent, it was an excellent feeling. This prepared me when I joined Barclays in 1988; it was an amazing journey.”
When he left Barclays in 2004, he did so as head of premier and personal banking in the offshore sector and known in his circle as a financial guru.
“The wealthiest people in the world called on me to solve their financial problems and I did successfully. Looking at Barbados I managed and consulted for larger things than Barbados’ economy. I was one of 40 people who advised the Barclays global funds and that was over $900 billion in funds that we managed.
PhD in theology
“For many years after I left the Barclays group, they still had my name on their page. I know my banking tall. We set up banks from scratch, consulted with several entities across the world. I am one of the most qualified bankers on the island,” he declared.
Tannis is currently reading for a doctorate in theology. He urged people to find a church and find the Lord, adding that his life was a testament that with Him, all things were possible and lasting.
“I have watched my own progress; once you can dream it, God can make it happen for you. There is no limit to God, there is none. At one point in my banking career I reported on a dotted line to the Queen [of England’s] secretary. I have had the chief justice in Canada as my client. There is no limit, you can do anything you want to do.
Tannis is also seeking to be nominated to run for the Democratic Labour Party in St Michael South East in the next general election after an unsuccessful run last time.
“I am bringing agricultural solutions and job solutions to The Pine. I brought investors to The Pine and Barbados who have done incredibly good work and it’s now beginning.
“It is not about me. God set me up to be a helper, somebody to be a solutions person that He uses. So you can see an instrument of His love and His care and that is what I am – an instrument of God to help the people,” he added. (SDB Media)