CAB optimistic about growth despite COVID-19 setbacksWednesday, June 16, 2021
Insurance brokerage firm Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited (CAB) said that it is anticipating increased growth across its operations despite setbacks since the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to Chairman and CEO Raymond Walker, current expectations are for the company to achieve growth of some 20-30 per cent over the next couple of months.
“Based on the foundation that we have set, I'm looking to growth of that nature towards the end of this year and moving into next year. We have spent most of last year and this year building the foundation to sort of springboard us to see the level of growth that we anticipate,” he said at last week's Mayberry's investors briefing.
“We spent a lot of money investing in technology to ensure that we have robust infrastructure so that if there is another COVID, at least our staff will be able to operate from home efficiently and effectively as if they were doing so from the office, as well as making sure that our clients are able to access information online and transact business via our e-commerce platform which is expected to be launched by the end of the second quarter this year,” Walker added.
CAB, a junior market company listed on the Jamaica stock exchange since March last year at the end of its first quarter period ended March 31, reported improved gross revenues of $87.3 million — some 4.8 million or 5.8 per cent more than that of the same period in the prior year. This, the company said, was attributable to substantial growth in commissions across three of its four divisions. Despite an improvement in revenues, the company, however, at the end of the period incurred increased net losses of some $7.8 million — $3.2 million more than that of the previous year's quarter. CAB said that the underperformance of the quarter stemmed from increased expenses to improve business efficiencies.
Boasting of the business' attractiveness to international insurers and underwriters and the prospect for growth, Walker noted that the company since the start of this year has been approached by a number of international clients seeking partnership to distribute their products locally and regionally. “Just this year alone we have had three such approaches so I'm very excited in terms of the future,” he stated.
CAB, in early 2020, partnered with Canadian firm Sutton Special Risk to become the exclusive distributor for their special range of insurance products in the local market.
Hoping to also deliver on objectives outlined in its initial public offering prospectus in 2020, the company said that its plans for regional expansions, despite interruptions by the pandemic, was still underway. “Right now, our focus is on Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Barbados. We are looking forward to put our plans in place and to starting up this project towards the end of the year into 2022,” Walker noted.
The firm, in its quest to further emerge from the fallouts experienced over the past quarters, is also seeking to drive revenues and growth in the local market through a range of new services. These include the roll-out of a Credit Union Gold series plan activated at the start of this month along with other loyalty and discount/ value added products.
“Having set the type of foundation that we have during this year and the latter part of last year, with the pandemic and having someone like a Tanya Waldron-Gooden who will be taking over the position of CEO come next year January. I think we certainly will be well on our way,” the chairman said.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login