Access Financial quick out the blocks
While others may have been sceptical about enlisting on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Access Financial Services Limited was quick out the blocks.
The heads of the company, which was established in 2000, had the foresight to see the importance of enlisting when the market opened in 2009. As true pioneers, Access Financial was the first company to take the plunge. It's a decision that was taken with the same meticulous planning that went into forming the entity.
"The vision from the outset was to grow the company to the size where it could be listed on the JSE with a view to increasing brand awareness, increasing transparency and corporate governance and be better positioned to attract capital for further growth," said CEO Marcus James.
Access is one of the premier providers of loans to Jamaica's microfinance sector. Access provides both personal and business loans island-wide through a retail network of 14 branches.
"The benefits of being listed include the tax incentive which has enabled a larger pool of funds to be retained to grow the company's loan portfolios," James opined.
"Also, there has been increased brand awareness and adherence to transparency and corporate governance for the benefit of its shareholders." Since inception, Access has disbursed in excess of J$5 billion in loans.
The company contributes significantly to the micro-finance sector, the development of which is essential to job creation and economic growth. The company's micro business clients operate in all major sectors of the economy, including service, manufacturing, trading, and agriculture. James says the junior market listing has enabled the company to perform profitably and has increased revenues and shareholder value.
"The junior stock exchange will continue to grow by attracting companies that are seeking investments for growth and who are able to do so by listing on the exchange," said James.
And their peers are taking note of the work. The company has received numerous awards. The year 2013 was an exceptional one for recognition. At the Jamaica Stock Exchange Best Practice Awards, the company copped the Governor General Award for Excellence, the Best Performing Company Award, and the Best Practices Website Award for the junior market.
This is good encouragement as the company aims to maintain its vision of providing financial solutions and unparalleled customer service for every Jamaican through the delivery of innovative and timely products.
The company's directors are Rex James - chairman; Marcus James - CEO; Neville James; Christopher Williams; Charmaine Boyd-Walker; Johann Heaven; and Peter McConnell. Senior managers are Marcus James, Catherine Thomas, and Deveta McLaren.