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Jamaica Stock Exchange - IronRock Insurance

Published:Tuesday | April 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Contributed Photo Standing from left are: Evan Thwaites, managing director; Wayne Hardie, finance director; Maurice Bolt, general manager - Technology and Operations. Seated ffrom left are: Maureen Lee, office manager and Yvonne Daley, Underwriting Manager. The members of our Board of Directors are: Hon. W.A McConnell, OJ, (Chairman) · Evan Thwaites (Managing) · Wayne Hardie · Anthony Bell · Matthew Hogarth, LL.B (Hons)
Co-founders of IronRock Insurance, R. Evan D. Thwaites (left) and William McConnell (centre), with Mayberry team members, CEO Gary Peart; senior vice-president of corporate finance, research and special projects, Tania Waldron-Gooden (second left) and assistant vice president of marketing, Anika Smith.

IronRock Insurance, founded by insurance experts Evan Thwaites and Wayne Hardie, along with businessman William McConnell, is looking to earn more than $400 million in profits within its first five years of operation.

The company successfully raised approximately $315 million sought from its initial public offering on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market.

It offers a full suite of general insurance products, including marine insurance, which has been in strong demand in Jamaica, but sparingly offered by local insurance companies.

According to its prospectus, IronRock is aiming to acquire approximately 3.5 per cent of the local market share. Thwaites, who is the managing director, indicated that listing on the exchange was the ideal way for them to expand the capacity of the company to underwrite general insurance businesses and pay for the expenses of raising the capital.

"While the founding shareholders had put in enough capital for the company to be registered by the Financial Services Commission, the minimum requirement was rather low, so we felt that we needed additional capital in order to establish for the market that we are capable of withstanding risks and losses. And so to raise the additional capital, we had to go to the stock exchange," Thwaites said.

Thwaites said initially, they thought about raising capital while trying to keep the business private, but based on advice from their financial advisors, Mayberry Investments Limited, that would have been a difficult avenue and the stock exchange listing would be a much simpler way to raise funds.

Insurance products

The new general insurer intends to offer a full range of general insurance products, including motor, property, engineering, accident, marine, transport and liability.

Additionally, it will seek to forge strong relationships with overseas insurers in order to participate in the insurance programmes of their local clients. The prospectus also boasts a company strategy to offer a modern service at a reduced cost through use of technology.

"We have been very well received by the market. The insurance brokers to whom we have spoken have all welcomed us. The insuring public has also welcomed us, and we have had a fair amount of direct business," Thwaites said.

He is encouraging other businesses that need to raise capital to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market, but first ensure that they can meet the requirements stipulated by the JSE.

"You have to ensure that you provide information on a timely basis, understand what the responsibilities that come with it are, and be capable of managing those responsibilities. We found the process to be extremely useful and very successful for our company," Thwaites said.

The company directors are W.A McConnell - chairman; Evan Thwaites - managing director; Wayne Hardie, Anthony Bell; and Matthew Hogarth, LL.B.