Jamaica-born philanthropist, Raymond Chang, dead after prolonged illness

raymond-chang-400KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday July 29, 2014, CMC – Jamaican born, Canadian business leader, Raymond Chang, died Sunday in Canada – his adopted homeland, after a long illness.

On the news of his death, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed sadness at Chang’s passing, saying both countries lost of one of their most accomplished sons in the areas of finance and philanthropy.

“The nation mourns the passing of this accomplished and outstanding son of the soil. Ray Chang was an inspired business leader with a heart who gave distinguished and diligent service to the land of his birth and his adopted homeland,” she said.

“He has left a void of immense proportion in the field of fund management, having headed one of Canada’s largest investment fund management company – C I Financial Corp, while also investing meaningfully in businesses in Jamaica and extending his generosity to supporting areas of social and community development,” she added.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says the nation will miss Raymond Chang for his “selflessness, love and kindness of his homeland”.

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Ray Chang was a Jamaican whose business acumen, experience and skills made him a most highly regarded entrepreneur in Jamaica, Canada and the rest of the Diaspora, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said in a statement Monday.

“His support of academic and social institutions in Jamaica and Canada was a manifestation of his generosity in giving back in appreciation for those who had assisted him along the way,” Holness said.

“His was a life of inspiration to all Jamaicans. We shall miss him. We will always remember him for his selflessness, love and kindness of his homeland.

On Monday, the University of West Indies, where Chang was a major donor, announced they were flying flags at half-mast at their Caribbean campuses.

Ryerson University is also mourning his passing.

Chang served as Ryerson’s chancellor from 2006 to 2012. He donated $5 million to the school for lifelong learning and his name now appears on its school of continuing education.

Chang migrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1967 and graduated from the University of Toronto as an electrical engineer.

He became a chartered accountant, and joined with partners in a tiny investment fund company that over a 20-year period morphed into CI Financial, now managing more than $60 billion.

Chang who was conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2011, was also named as an officer of the Order of Canada just weeks before his death.