Thu | Oct 22, 2020

VM Investments says stake in B'dos online lending platform strategic, creates value for shareholders

Published:Sunday | September 22, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Courtney Campbell, president and CEO, Victoria Mutual (VM) Group along with Mark Young, CEO and co-founder – Carilend Limited; Michael McMorris, chairman, VM Group; Devon Barrett, group chief Investment officer and head of the Strategic Investments Unit, VM Group; and Rezworth Burchenson, CEO – VM Investment Limited.

Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL) says its acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Barbados-based FinTech company, Carilend Caribbean Holdings Limited was a strategic move to capitalise on an emerging technology that has potential for offering unique financing opportunities in the Caribbean.

“VMIL was attracted to this unique investment opportunity due to the value of the emerging technology which has the potential in other areas of finance with the ability to scale within the Caribbean," said CEO of VMIL Rez Burchenson in a media release. 

"This certainly represents a long-term investment for our shareholders,” he added.

VMIL, which is a subsidiary of the Victoria Mutual Group, explained that while the value of the acquisition is less than 10 per cent of its capital base, it is an important strategic move aimed at creating greater value for shareholders.

Further, the investment firm said it connects people who have money to lend with people who want to borrow money in a secure online marketplace. 

VMIL said the investment aligns with the previously announced strategic objective of fulfilling the working capital needs of well-run Caribbean businesses. 

Carilend is described as the first in the region to provide a fully integrated end-to-end online lending experience via its state-of-the-art electronic exchange platform. It is credited with being the first to successfully introduce a Peer-to-Peer Lending service in Barbados.

Peer-to-peer lending is a billion-dollar industry in the UK, US and Canada which was successfully introduced to Barbados in 2017.

VMIL’s investment gives it two seats on Carilend’s five-member board of directors. It said these seats will be held by Devon Barrett, director of VMIL and chief investment officer of the VM Group; and Peter Reid, chief executive officer (CEO) of building society operations at the VM Group.

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