Sun | Oct 22, 2017

From investments to hotels - Rohan Miller expected to supersize resort revenues under secondment

Published:Friday | October 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
Rohan Miller, CEO of Sagicor Real Estate X Fund.
Sagicor Group Jamaica President & CEO Christopher Zacca.
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Rohan Miller, the chief executive officer of Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited and Sagicor Real Estate X Fund Limited and executive vice-president and chief investment officer of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, has been seconded to the exclusive management of the group's hotel portfolio.

Miller took up his new role at the start of October, but he declined to say how long the assignment would last.

Sagicor Group Jamaica President and CEO Christopher Zacca said the group's expanding investments in the resort sector made it necessary "to have someone with the talent, experience and expertise totally focus on building on the successes achieved to date".

He said Miller would therefore concentrate on his job as Sagicor X Fund's president and CEO.

His task is to nurture the properties acquired within the last five years to optimise their earning potential. The group, through various managed funds, owns four Jewel resorts, the most recent of which opened for business this summer, the Hilton Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, and the Hilton DoubleTree in Florida.

Another Jewel hotel is under consideration for Montego Bay. As now conceptualised at 800 rooms, it would be the largest hotel to be developed in Jamaica by a local business.

Sagicor Real Estate X Fund Limited itself owns the two Hilton-branded hotels and holds minority interest in some of the Jewel resorts. The hotels deliver revenues of US$150 million annually. That figure excludes Jewel Grande Montego Bay, which just opened for business.

The Financial Gleaner understands that Miller is expected to drive revenue solidly into the US$200-million range.

To date, Sagicor Group Jamaica, through X Fund and other vehicles, has US$700 million into its hotel investments, and expects to spend another US$200 million on the 800-room hotel under consideration on a 26-acre property owned by Sagicor at Rose Hall in Montego Bay.

Miller has been president and CEO of Sagicor Investments since June 2014. He succeeded Donovan Perkins who was given the assignment of building

out the financial conglomerate's commercial banking operation. Alongside the new job, Miller maintained his portfolio responsibility as chief investment officer for Sagicor's flagship insurance subsidiary and as president and CEO of Sagicor X Fund, which he was tapped to lead in November 2013.

Miller's secondment follows the surprise resignation of Perkins from Sagicor Bank Jamaica and Sagicor Group at the end of September. He was replaced in the interim at the bank by deputy Phillip Armstrong until a replacement is identified.

The changes are taking place five to six months into Zacca's tenure, after succeeding Richard Byles in May.

Zacca said that alongside Miller's secondment, Donnette Scarlett will assume a newly expanded role at Sagicor Group Jamaica as vice-president, group treasury and asset management, while Sagicor Investments Vice President of Capital Markets and Managed Funds Kevin Donaldson will act as general manager of Sagicor Investments. Both will report directly to Zacca.

He also said Sagicor Life Jamaica Vice-President for Asset Management Brenda-Lee Martin will continue retain her current portfolio, and report to group treasury.

A source inside the company said Miller was "shifted to the hotel portfolio to see if what he has done in investments he can do the same there".

Sagicor Investments was the top stockbrokerage, accounting for 43 per cent of the value of transactions, in the year the Jamaica was adjudged the world's top performing market, in 2015.

Miller is said to take a hands-on approach to project management and was responsible for each of Sagicor's hotel projects, from planning through acquisition and renovation.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com