WFDB President commends De Beers Penny

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Paz claims De Beers MD is responsible for diamond market recovery.

World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Avi Paz has commended outgoing De Beers managing director Gareth Penny’s contribution to the rough diamond market.

Paz made a statement in regards to Penny’s departure after 22 years with the group, claiming the recovery of the industry after the economic crisis was in large part due to Penny’s leadership.

Paz said: "Gareth Penny’s contribution to the prosperity of the diamond industry throughout the years was tremendous and his unique skills were particularly evident during the time of the global economic downturn. He offered strong leadership in an industry that was going through a severe structural and economic crisis in the past 18 months.”

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He added: "The fact the global diamond industry is experiencing a recovery in the past few months is very much due to Mr. Penny’s leadership and professional contribution. He was quick to respond to the abrupt changes in a responsible and professional manner and assured that De Beers’ policies were in sync with the entire diamond industry."

Paz also lauded the role of the Diamond Trading Company’s (DTC) sightholder system, which he asserted had been an important factor in stabilizing the diamond industry. The DTC is the rough diamond sales and distribution arm of the De Beers Family of Companies and the world’s largest supplier of rough diamonds.

"We are very much against the use of tenders in selling rough diamonds because we believe tenders are bad for the industry and create an imbalanced situation,” said Paz. “The fact that De Beers, under the leadership of Mr. Penny, continued to supply rough diamonds using the sightholder system is very important for the stability of the entire industry.”

The WFDB president emphasised the importance O Penny’s contribution to the development of the secondary diamond market, where rough supplies have become increasingly scarce, and expressed his hope that De Beers would continue its efforts after Penny’s departure.

"I hope De Beers will continue to increase the allocation of rough diamond supplies to manufacturers and traders in what we call the secondary market,” Paz said, “meaning those companies that are not part of the sightholder or preferred client lists. These small and medium sized companies play an important part in the diamond industry and the supply pipe line of polished goods into the downstream market.”

The WFDB President concluded by thanking Penny for his ‘very significant contribution’ to the well-being and advancement of the industry and wished him the best in his future career.

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