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University College of the Caribbean chooses Mayberry as financial adviser

Published:Sunday | October 30, 2016 | 10:00 AMSteven Jackson
Dr Winston Adams, president of the University College of the Caribbean.
The University College of the Caribbean campus at Worthington Avenue in New Kingston.
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Mayberry Investments Limited announced on Friday that it would act as financial adviser to the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), signalling that the education institution is considering raising funds, privately or publicly.

In a deal signed last week, the investment bank will act as UCC Group's adviser and lead broker, Mayberry told Gleaner Business.

The university is headed by Group Executive Chairman Dr Winston Adams and Executive Chancellor Professor Dennis Gayle.

"UCC's education business model has served us extremely well to date, however, we must keep reinventing ourselves, and Mayberry Investments is the perfect partner to assist us in achieving this strategic expansion goal," said Adams.

The UCC, Jamaica's largest private, non-affiliated tertiary institution, was founded in 2004. It is a member of the Organisation of American States Consortium, the American Council on Education, and the Commonwealth of Learning.

"We are pleased to be working with one of Jamaica's premier higher educational institutions with the hope that assisting them in raising the capital they require to expand will lead to greater opportunities for more students across Jamaica, the Caribbean, and ultimately, the world to pursue a university education," said Gary Peart, CEO of Mayberry, in a statement.

Mayberry Investments, a full-service financial advisory firm and brokerage house, offers services in securities trading, investment banking, and asset management. For 2016 to date, its services have been retained by at least four companies looking to expand or raise capital.

The UCC Group currently gets backing from venture fund outfit Alpha Angels.

"Alpha Angels is proud to have its second investment into one of the region's universities. Being a part of the growth and development of Caribbean nationals through the UCC's online programme that allows students to achieve a degree from anywhere in the region is what technology and the world is about," said Yoni Epstein, a member of the Alpha Angels network of investors.

"Partnering with Mayberry Investments on this deal also shows the capacity of the markets in Jamaica and that SMEs can get funded outside of the traditional avenues if those doors close on you," Epstein said.

In 2004, the UCC expanded to form partnerships with the Florida International University, the University of Florida, and Florida State University.

INCREASED OFFERINGS

In 2005, these partnerships led to the creation of a number of training programmes in the fields of business, information technology, and engineering.

The UCC, in a bid to offer various educational options to students, sought and was granted permission from the University of London in 2008 to offer the Diploma in Law and the Bachelor of Law programmes.

The UCC has also collaborated with the Commonwealth of Learning to offer the Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration and the Commonwealth Executive Master of Public Administration.

Earlier this month, the UCC also launched the iCreate Institute in partnership with the eMedia Interactive Group. The institute will offer certificate programmes in advertising, animation, content marketing, digital video production and project management, and will later add a bachelor's degree in communication design.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com