BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO decades after the late Joan Duncan started the company, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) hit a new milestone in 2012. The financial institution posted its highest annual profit in its 20-year history.
JMMB Group reported an almost doubling of net profits to $2.2 billion and a 50 per cent jump in net revenues to $6 billion for the year ending March 31, 2012, catalysed by a number of moves that have diversified business lines across the Caribbean.
In the Dominican Republic, JMMB has an 80 per cent interest in a very profitable securities dealership -- where profits improved by 212 per cent to $196.5 million for the six months ended September 2012 -- and is awaiting approval to acquire two small savings and loan banks in the Spanish-speaking country after submitting applications last year.
There has been growth in assets and profitability for JMMB in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago through its interest in IBL Banking Group, which posted a 48 per cent increase in net profits to TT$6 million ($88 million) in FY12 despite difficult conditions. IBL continued its surge throughout 2012, contributing $42.5 million to profits over the six months ending September period, an increase of $34.3 million or 417 per cent, having recovered from an adverse impact on its loan portfolio in the prior year.
At home in Jamaica, the company has increased market share in areas such as insurance and pensions, which resulted in other fees and commissions increasing almost twofold for FY12. More importantly, JMMB wrapped up the $4.22 billion Capital and Credit Financial Group (CCFG) acquisition, which enabled it to significantly broaden its product offerings. With the CCFG deal, the firm will now be able to delve into areas such as the restricted unit trust market and banking services, while acquiring operating efficiencies across the board. Combined, the group has 187,000 clients and $156.9 billion in total assets.
"Our team remains focused on identifying and successfully pursuing market opportunities, as well as catering to our clients' growing needs by designing and providing relevant financial solutions," said JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan, Joan's son, who along with his twin sister Donna, has been a guiding force behind the company since their mother passed in 1998.
JMMB's impressive statistics speak for itself -- the group posted a net profit of $2.54 billion for the six-month period ended 30 September 2012, an 86.4 per cent improvement over the prior period. But what arguably stands out most for the firm -- and has arguably helped it develop a very loyal customer base -- is its unique corporate culture. There is a strong spiritual component -- one which revolves around a vision of love -- to the management strategies implemented by Joan Duncan and co-founder (and current chairman) Dr Noel Lyon and still followed by the family today.
"It stems from how team members treat each other, how we hire team members, the kind of qualities that they come with and the training programmes that we start off with," JMMB's group strategy manager and youngest of the Duncan siblings, Imani, told Caribbean Business Report yesterday.
"If team members are living and working in an environment that is genuinely respectful and honest and open and caring, then that, we believe, translates to how clients feel," she revealed.
Donna Duncan, the group's executive director with responsibilities for culture and leadership development, leads the design and development of programmes aimed at deepening this culture. Donna is the group's former CEO, who left the office in 2005 to spend more time raising her children, and a past winner of the Jamaica Observer Business Leader Award.
The company's corporate culture extends towards philanthrophy across the region. For the six months September period, the firm spent $14.1 million towards the advacement of Caribbean nationals and the environment, including sponsorship of a campaign to empower children in Jamaica to realise their inner greatness, a major donation to the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Education's "Mental Math" initiative and, in recognition of reforestation month in the Dominican Republic, played a role in an annual tree-planting activity which was conducted in a protected area of that country.