Charles Allen (1903-1994) was an American financier with the small “boutique investment bank” of Allen & Company, New York City, founded by him and his brother Herbert in 1922. As an advisor to the Duke of Windsor, Mr. Allen presumably had earlier Bahamian connections. Allen & Co. had controlling interests in steel, shipbuilding, chemicals, drugs, insurance and other industries, but it was also becoming heavily involved in the media and entertainment business. Allen & Company introduced a consortium that bought 25 percent share in the Grand Bahama Port Authority for slightly more than $1 million.
In 1956, Allen & Co. acquired a Mexican-based pharmaceutical firm that specialized in making synthetic hormones for birth control from yams. Syntex opened a branch in Freeport in 1967, and became the third substantial corporation to locate in the Port Authority area. Allen & Co. sold Syntex in 1994 to Roche Holding Ltd. for $5.3 billion. The former 102 acre Syntex site on Grand Bahama was acquired by the South African PharmaChem Technologies in September 2003.