Seymour Bentley Douglas was born in Kingston, Jamaica on the 23rd day of March, 1964. From very humble beginnings, Seymour has always possessed a tremendous sense of ambition to make himself better and to improve the lot of others. These attributes were reinforced as his love for reading grew with the inevitable consequence that he developed a voracious appetite for the written word.
He was educated at Calabar All Age School (1969-1976), moving on to the crucible of higher learning, Kingston College (1976 - 1983), and then the University of the West Indies (1984-1987) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in Economics and Mathematics. Seymour pursued graduate studies in Statistics and Computational Finance at the London School of Economics, his further studies culminating in a Ph.D. in Econometrics at Temple University in 1997.
At KC, Seymour was part of the School’s Challenge Quiz (“SCQ”) community starting in first form when himself, Kevin Brown (the future Chess Master and surgeon), Derrick White (Dr. Charlton Collie’s younger sibling) and Norman Martin, now deceased, were selected to form the first form SCQ team.
While in fifth form in 1981, Seymour was part of the team which also consisted of Devon James (captain), Albert Grant and Kevin Brown that lost in the semi-finals to a Wolmer’s Boys team that included Stephen Francis (now famed track & Field coach for world gems such as Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with MVP Club ). He was also part of the 1982 and 1983 teams consisting of himself, Kevin Brown, Ian Wilkinson (his friend from Calabar All-Age and the future attorney-at-law) and Derrick White. The 1982 team, favourites after an impressive first round demolition of St. Jago High School, became legendary for a shocking loss to the ladies of Hampton High School. As a “quizzer” he was outstanding, particularly his command of literature and his general knowledge.
An economist by training, Seymour was seconded by the World Bank to serve as Consulting Economist at the Caribbean Development Bank from 1995 to 1997. At the Bank, Seymour was responsible for analysis of investment decisions relating to the bank’s investment in infrastructure projects including airports, trans-shipment ports, hotels, schools and road improvements. In addition, Seymour served as desk economist for, the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia. In his role as desk economist Seymour was a member of technical teams on International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) and World Bank missions.
Upon finishing his stint with the World Bank, Seymour entered academia as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where he taught undergraduate courses in Microeconomics, International Finance, Economic Development, Asset Pricing and graduate courses in Microeconomics and Economic Development. While on faculty, he did research on exchange rate volatility, electricity pricing, black market exchange rate behaviour and the role of public finance in economic development. Seymour was also an advisor for senior undergraduates and PhD candidates.
Seymour has published in the area of electricity pricing, derivative modeling and exchange rate behaviour and has made presentations, and served on panels, in Chile, Brazil, the United Kingdom and other countries.
While still on faculty at Emory, Seymour began to serve as advisor to companies headquartered in the Atlanta area including Bellsouth (now part of ATT and Mirant). Seymour led teams in the development of data mining and large scale customer data warehouse. He and his team did ground-breaking work in the area of customer valuation and pioneered the deployment of key elements of e-commerce including an early version of the shopping cart and recommender system.
Having been bitten by the analytics and database computing bugs (pun intended!) , Seymour decided to move to the nerve centre of it all and in 2001, he relocated from Atlanta to the East Bay area to be part of the Silicon Valley start-up culture. Seymour’s first stop was a start-up pioneering business to business bartering called Bartertrust.com. This was followed by stints at the e-commerce analytics firm I-Impact and the system integrator Nexgenix.
In June, 2003 he was appointed to lead the analytics function at Cox Communications, a subsidiary of the Cox Enterprise Empire. Cox Communications, the third largest of the multiple service organization (MSO) in the USA pioneered leveraging cable networks to deliver broad and landline telephone service. Seymour was recognized as leader in the predictive analytics space by Business Intelligence magazine in 2005. In 2010, Seymour and his team led what was then the largest successful implementation of a dynamic customer decisioning system that simplified and added significant data driven recommendations to sale and care agents selling a complex array of telecommunication services.
After close to a decade at Cox Communications, where he had guided the organization from having minimal analytics capabilities to where it was regarded as a leader in analytics in the MSO space, Seymour decided to pursue other challenges. In January of 2012, he joined Deloitte Financial Advisory Services. In his new role Seymour is charged with helping to leverage advanced analytics as they make investments to combat fraud, waste and abuse. Members of the Fortis fraternity wish him well in his new “adventure”.
CHARITIES AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
Seymour is a member of the Tocqueville Society of the United Way. The Society’s goal is to bring together philanthropic leaders to create a stronger sense of community in the philanthropic community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Air Transportation Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. Seymour’s professional affiliations include the American Finance Association, The Association of Computer Machinery, The American Mathematics Society and the American Economics Association.
A long standing member of the Kingston College Old Boys Association (“KCOBA”), Seymour has made many contributions, in cash and kind, to KC’s Schools Challenge Quiz squads/teams and to the welfare of many KC “Old Boys” in Jamaica and the diaspora.
FAMILY AND INTERESTS
He sees himself as a “sportsman of minimal to zero abilities,” but enjoys watching golfand will quickly travel the world to watch football or Formula 1 racing. Seymour resides in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA but visits Jamaica regularly. He is married to Tasheika Hinson, an Assistant United States attorney-at-law at the Department of Justice. He has a son Noah from his previous marriage and two step children, Evan and Tyler.
A remarkable individual steeped in generousity, intellect and fortitude who believes earnestly that “the best way to help yourself is to help others”, Seymour Douglas has already left an indelible mark on the KC landscape and on the world. Without a shadow of a doubt he is destined for even greater things. Indeed, the best is yet to come!