Sagicor eyes the Americas as it targets growth

Sagicor eyes the Americas as it targets growth

Senior staff reporter

Monday, June 01, 2020

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FINANCIAL services conglomerate Sagicor Group Jamaica is looking to spread its tentacles further into the Americas as it eyes “continued” growth 50 years after breaking ground in the health and insurance industry.

With Sagicor being the number one ranked insurance company locally; number two in investment banking and three in banking overall, with a very strong presence in pension fund investment, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christopher Zacca believes that the company has the impetus to expand into the subregions of the Americas.

“We have our eye on continued growth. [We are] strengthening our investment banking by moving more regionally; looking at other insurance opportunities in Central America and the Northern Caribbean,” Zacca said during a virtual Jamaica Observer Press Club last Thursday as he declared that he could not divulge additional information.

Sagicor is today celebrating its 50th anniversary in business since it first commenced operations in 1970 as Life of Jamaica.

“ [We're] pushing our payment side of our bank and our innovation in banking to move us up in terms of our competitiveness. We continue to innovate. We've launched the select funds; we've just had our first board meeting about infrastructure fund, and there's more to come. We're going to just keep moving onward and upward,” Zacca mentioned.

Already, he said, Sagicor's management has formed a company which will, once it gets approval from the Financial Services Commission, facilitate investor funding.

“We intend to do investments in infrastructure development in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean as we grow and develop but first of all in Jamaica. We're looking at the full range of infrastructure. We have a project on the books which is a public/private partnership with the National Water Commission to do a water treatment plant because, you know, that is very much needed and that is well down the wicket,” the CEO disclosed.

The treatment plant, he said, is expected to be linked to Rio Cobre in Bog Walk, St Catherine, and will serve the Corporate Area, which has, in recent years, been reeling from persistent drought-related conditions.

“So we're very excited about it [but] we're not yet ready to fully launch. But, we're very excited about it because we feel that even in these times infrastructure is an area that investors would have an appetite for — steady returns and asset-based returns. So, we think it will help growth and it will help develop the nation,” Zacca said.

Beyond the Sagicor Group's physical expansion, its Chairman Peter Melhado noted that one of the key elements of growth for the company is responding to the needs of customers.

“You've seen it in terms of the products that we're offering in the stock market, for example. We're allowing small investors, who perhaps never had an opportunity to buy into a diversified fund, to do that. So, I think the real thrust for us going forward, you know, if we're serving our customers in their physical well-being through health insurance and their financial well-being, how can we continue to be excellent at satisfying those needs and then widen the range of services that we can offer to present a complete suite to our clients,” Melhado stated.

Sagicor Group offers products and services in the areas of banking, insurance, investments, real estate, asset management and retirement planning.

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