Sat | Aug 19, 2017

VMBS shakes up internal structure

Published:Friday | October 7, 2016 | 10:00 AMTameka Gordon
Courtney Campbell, VMBS Group President & CEO
Janice McKenley, VMBS Group Chief Financial Officer
Rezworth Burchenson, CEO of Prime Asset Management Limited and Deputy CEO of Victoria Mutual Wealth Management Limited.
Devon Barrett, VMBS Group Chief Investment Officer an CEO of Victoria Mutual Wealth Management Limited.
Peter Reid, CEO Building Society Operations, VMBS
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Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has made adjustments to its internal structure to present itself in a more modern frame, says Courtney Campbell, who now holds the title of group chief executive officer of the financial group.

"The structure really flowed from our strategic goals of becoming a strong, integrated financial group, the employer of choice and becoming a model corporate citizen," Campbell told the Financial Gleaner.

The career banker has headed the 138-year-old institution for just six months. He was recruited from GraceKennedy, where he headed up the conglomerate's financial businesses and had a seat on the board. Before that, he ran the retail banking operations at National Commercial Bank Jamaica.

The reorganisations at VMBS open up new opportunities for staff with some taking on expanded roles, said Campbell.

The changes suggest a cross-pollination of some operations in the group, whose holdings span mortgage banking, wealth management, pension fund management, money transfers, property management and insurance.

The changes will see the CEO of subsidiaries Victoria Mutual Property Services, Michael Neita, and VMBS Money Transfer Services, Michael Howard, now reporting to the head of the building society, Peter Reid, who now holds the title CEO of building society operations.

Campbell had announced shortly after his appointment that he planned to integrate some aspects of the group's operations to position the mutual for growth.

"What we are trying to do there is provide some complete solutions to members. If we have better integration with our property services, we can offer a richer discussion with our clients," Campbell said.

Devon Barrett has been appointed group chief investment officer and continues as CEO of VM Wealth. In his

new role, Campbell said, Barrett is expected to deliver "opportunities for us to expand our revenues .

"We want to diversify our line of business both inside Jamaica and regionally. That will be driven by Barrett's new role. So far, we have been heavily reliant on the building society, but the idea is that we can add some new business lines according to what the market is demanding," said the group president.

Rezworth Burchenson will continue as CEO of Prime Asset Management Limited, a pension fund management firm, and will be take on the additional role of deputy CEO of VM Wealth - which aligns with plans to integrate some functions of both entities.

"There are a lot of back-office resources that can be shared between the two," said Campbell.

Campbell, who himself was appointed leader of the mutual in April on the retirement of predecessor Richard Powell, has been busy crafting the direction of the company, with plans to boost membership as well as improve the electronic offerings.

Upgrades to the online platform are also expected by later this month.

Rickardo Ebanks, who previously headed the bank's ICT and project management office, has been promoted to group chief operations officer and will lead the charge to automate "many of key processes and simplify service delivery" in a bid to overall all electronic channels.

Chevonne Ashman has been promoted to assistant vice-president of group ICT.

A new post, group chief customer and brand officer, was also created and will be headed by Judith Forth-Blake, who joined VMBS in September. She has been tasked with developing marketing strategies in support of VMBS' business goals.

Kathya Beckford has been appointed group chief strategy officer. Laraine Harrison, group chief human resources officer and Janice McKenley, group chief financial officer.

VMBS also added a charity arm, whose mission is being finalised. VM Foundation will launch by the first quarter of 2017, said Campbell, and will be headed by group chief corporate affairs and communications officer Vivienne Bayley-Hay.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com