GraceKennedy taking on mutual fund market
Kerry-Ann Heavens, legal counsel, GraceKennedy Financial Group, (standing) looks on as the joint venture agreement between TTUTC and GK is signed last Friday, May 20, 2022 at the GK headquarters in downtown Kingston. (From left) Deyson Scott, (Ag) vice-president, sales and service, TTUTC; Hilary Reid, partner, Myers, Fletcher & Gordon;Dawn Seepersad, general counsel and corporate secretary, TTUTC; NMigel Edwards, executive director, TTUTC; Don Wehby, GraceKennedy Group CEO; Steven Whittingham, deputy CEO, GKFG; Patsy Latchman-Atterbury, managing director, GK Capital.; and Gregory Hines, vice-president of business development and principal investments, GK Capital.

GraceKennedy has announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement with the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation (TTUTC) to distribute mutual funds in Jamaica in a move the company calls its “reach to new market segments”.

The deal, which was signed by the conglomerate’s investment arm, GK Capital Markets, is still subject to regulatory approvals.

“Our vision for GraceKennedy is to grow as a global consumer group. This will include leveraging relationships with our international partners. If you look at the list of our current international partners, there’s Western Union, Proctor & Gamble, Frito Lay and others; but what is so heart-warming for me about this new partnership is that TTUTC is a Caribbean company,” Don Wehby, GraceKennedy’s CEO, said in a release.

Wehby said the company is looking forward to reaping the rewards of this new venture while fulfilling its financial inclusion strategy for Jamaicans.

In January this year, GK Capital announced its intention to enter the mutual funds market. TTUTC is the largest operator and manager of mutual funds in the Caribbean, and currently manages US$3.7 billion for over 625,000 investors.

TTCTC’s Executive Director Nigel Edwards said he was “elated about this partnership and believe the timing is perfect.”

Deputy CEO of GKFG and head of GK’s Investment and Insurance Divisions Steven Whittingham explained, “The initial funds will diversify the sphere of investment opportunities for GK Capital’s clients and expand our product reach. While we acknowledge that we are entering a competitive market, the design of the funds and the planned novel approaches to distribution will deliver a unique customer experience, and drive client acquisition and the accumulation of assets under management.”

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