Steven Jackson, Business Reporter
Two of Jamaica's high-profile family-run companies announced Thursday that they would be backing a small new financial firm that is just being set up in New Kingston, called BCW Capital.
Neither poultry producer Jamaica Broilers Group nor beverage company Wisynco Group has said how much capital they have put into the company, which is principally owned and operated by Gerry Wight, who formerly worked with National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited.
BCW Capital is held by BCW Holdings Limited. The latter was incorporated on December 8, 2011 with Wight as sole shareholder of 400 ordinary shares. Wight, Juliet Wight and Gerald Chambers are listed as directors on Companies Office of Jamaica records.
Consultant and former banker Aubyn Hill is BCW Holdings' chairman. Hill, who at one point was group managing director of NCB, currently runs his own microfinancing firm, Nation Growth. He also sits on the board of Jamaica Broilers.
Wisynco managing director William Mahfood said his company and Broilers have acquired equity stakes in BCW Holdings.
Gerry Wight, BCW's managing director of operations, told the Financial Gleaner that his company is seeking to raise up to half-billion dollars through private placements with investors, like the deal struck with Broilers and Wisynco, and possibly the junior stock market.
"After the public and private round of raising capital, we expect to have $500 million. The private round is basically completed and so we will go to the public," Wight said. "Listing on that market is an option."
The investment house is in the process of setting up its offices on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston.
BCW plans to open for business in the second quarter of 2012, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
Wight said the office is located beside Bijoux Jewellers at a building formerly utilised by Capital & Credit. He refrained from disclosing the licences being sought and the specific services that BCW would provide.
"At this point, we are meeting with persons in the marketplace and listening to the business community and we will tailor products to meet their financial needs," he said.
" There are a lot of great companies out there but we want to build-out products that cater to the specific needs of businesses, individuals and families."
Wight currently sits on the investment and audit committees at Advantage General Insurance Company and has held such senior positions as director of corporate banking and small business at CIBC FirstCaribbean Jamaica, and senior assistant general manager of corporate banking at NCB.
Advantage General, which like NCB is owned by Michael Lee-Chin, also announced this month that it would list on the Jamaican stock market.
During his banking career, Wight reportedly closed several large multi-jurisdictional corporate banking deals in the Caribbean. He later worked with private security firm Guardsman Limited.
Wight will run the operations with partner Charles Chambers, BCW's managing director of investment banking.
Chambers has held senior positions at Jamaica Money Market Brokers and NCB Capital Markets and most recently been managing director of Royal Fidelity Barbados.
President and CEO of Jamaica Broilers, Christopher Levy, said in the press release announcing the investments in the new company: "BCW Capital will draw upon the core values, heritage, integrity, trust and stability of our two companies, with a clear mission to be the most customer-centric financial services company in the Caribbean".
Said Mahfood: "We are upbeat about Jamaica's prospects and are confident that this investment in BCW Capital will assist families and companies in building wealth and achieving their financial goals".
Representatives from both Jamaica Broilers and Wisynco will sit on BCW Holdings board of directors.