Avia Collinder, Business Writer
Plans by the Musson Jamaica group to energise its property-appraisal business by merging subsidiary CD Alexander Realty with the local operations of Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties have foundered.
Century 21 Jamaica's managing director Deborah Cumming said Monday that the agreement to terminate was amicable. Cumming did not say why the deal fell apart.
Earlier this year, Musson announced that Cumming would join CD Alexander as chief executive officer of the amalgamated property brokerage on July 1.
CD Alexander planned to absorb Century's sales agents and other workers at expanded space at 581/2 Half-Way Tree Road in Kingston - the home of Musson's insurance subsidiary General Accident - from where clients could access a variety of real estate, insurance and financing services "in one convenient location".
CD Alexander, a firm of real estate brokers, auctioneers and valuators set up in 1945 by the late Carlton Alexander, was purchased by the Musson Group in 1987.
The company has set itself the mission of local and regional expansion, according to the Musson website.
Musson deputy chairman Melanie Subratie did not respond to request for comment. Dr Ralph Thompson, managing director of CD Alexander in April, had touted the partnership, saying Cumming's "considerable skill set will combine our deep experience in appraisals and auctions with Heave-Ho Properties' strong brokerage business to create the pre-eminent real estate firm in Jamaica", did not respond to request for comment on the termination of the merger deal.
Cumming, the holder of a franchise from Century 21 International for the last 14 years, told Wednesday Business that sales at the firm of 24 agents have been on the uptick since mid-2010 and that the company was confident about the future.
Century, she said, would be spending an unspecified sum in boosting the brand under the new slogan 'Smarter, Bolder, Faster'.
"We are back on track. The mortgage rate cuts which were long overdue will have a positive effect on the market. I believe we will see rate cuts before the end of the year to single digits."
Cumming noted that parent company Century 21 International had also ramped up marketing and was holding seminars for its partners for the first time since the market crash.
Locally, the company remains a market leader, along with Coldwell Banker, Cumming said.