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Sagicor offers to public 25 per cent of shares in newly formed Eastern Caribbean entity

Sagicor offers to public 25 per cent of shares in newly formed Eastern Caribbean entity

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With the creation of a new subsidiary company of Sagicor Life Inc to handle its Eastern Caribbean customers, members of the public will be able to purchase up to 25 per cent of that entity’s shares.

At a press conference last Thursday, held at Sagicor’s offices in Frenches,{{more}} it was announced that customers in the OECS sub-region would be handled by Sagicor Life Eastern Caribbean Inc, which came into existence in October 2014.

Describing the new company as a “totally self-sufficient, self-contained entity,” its president and chief executive officer Donald Austin said: “Since we took over the BAICO portfolio, there has been a lot of push – both from within the organization and from across the region – to basically set up an entity which will be totally self-contained, and which can manage its own affairs across the [sub] region.”

Austin explained that the parent company’s finance, human resources and marketing functions in relation to its OECS customers will now be handled by Sagicor Life Eastern Caribbean Inc, which has its headquarters in St Lucia, instead of being managed out of Barbados, as it previously was.

“We now will become a source of making decisions a lot quicker,” he asserted. “We now want to take the company to the next level…”

Austin, who took up his role as president and CEO of Sagicor Life Eastern Caribbean Inc on March 1, 2015, said that he is expecting many benefits from this move – all of which will contribute to the betterment of Sagicor’s customers.

DT Vigo, vice-president of Sagicor Life Inc, was also present at the press conference, and observed that this new subsidiary company would provide a “great opportunity” for both Sagicor and the citizens of the OECS, in terms of provision of insurance products, as well as employment.

He said that another benefit to be derived of customers is the ability to buy shares in the subsidiary company – pointing out that stock ownership is not generally of significance to OECS citizens.

“We want persons of the OECS to own a part of Sagicor Life Inc, and by creating this entity… we will be offering to the public 25 per cent of the shares in the company… to purchase.”

Vigo acknowledged that many persons may now be wary of the insurance industry, following the BAICO/CLICO fiasco, but assured the public that Sagicor would not follow suit.

“Sagicor Life is a publicly listed company and a well-regulated company… we are an open book… and we focus on our core business, which is providing financial advice and protection to citizens of this region.”

He also assured that Austin, who is a Barbadian national and now residing in St Lucia, is “eminently qualified” to lead Sagicor Life Eastern Caribbean Inc, and will “continue the great work which Sagicor has done in the region… but with a greater focus and attention on the OECS region”.

Austin previously served as Cable & Wireless country manager in St Vincent 1998 – 2000, and as Cable & Wireless St Lucia’s country manager 2000 – 2002.(JSV)

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