Marcella Scarlett, Business Reporter
Pan Caribbean Financial Services said Tuesday that it will launch at least three new unit trust products later this year, and will move its Montego Bay operation into larger offices to keep pace with growing business in the coastal city.
"Last year, we introduced two unit trust products and this year we have three or four more to be launched later on this year," president and chief executive officer of PanCaribbean group, Donovan Perkins, told Wednesday Business on the margins of the company's annual general meeting.
But he declined comment on how the products would be structured, saying the details would be released closer to the launch date.
"We are working on it; we can't be more specific than that. Our focus is to try and build out our client base and cross-selling our products," said Perkins.
"You know we are in a very competitive market but the intention is to continue to develop an asset management business. You know asset management and commercial banking, those are very important areas for us. We just want to give investors more choice and broaden our appeal for both small and large investors."
Five unit trust products
PanCaribbean currently offers five unit trust products, whose yields range between 0.9 per cent and 8.47 per cent. Their annual growth rates range between 1.9 per cent and 10 per cent.
But for two of the equity-linked funds - Sigma Optima and Sigma Venture - their year-to-date growth performance, up to May 17, has turned negative. Similar mixed performance are seen in unit trust funds offered by two of PanCaribbean's three rivals in the market.
PanCaribbean group offers commercial banking through subsidiary PanCaribbeanBank Limited, as well as investment, asset and wealth management services from its New Kingston headquarters, as well as branches in Mandeville, Ocho Rios, Savanna-la-Mar, and its offices at the Montego Bay Shopping Centre in the heart of the resort city.
Perkins said the MoBay offices will relocate to leased space on the city's outskirts at Bogue, now a favoured location for businesses.
"We should be moving in the summer," said Perkins. "We are only doing interior work now."
PanCaribbean employs a staff of 18 in its MoBay office. The move will double the investment bank's operating space from 2,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet, but Perkins said he has no plans to boost staff.
"Business is growing down there, and it is a better location. We are trying to make our customers satisfied," he said.
Karlene Dennis, assistant marketing manager, said the relocation would fix the issue of available parking for clients.
Perkins also signalled that the group was considering improvements to other offices.
"We are trying to develop a long-term strategy for the other branches as well, so they will have space to grow. We need to have an environment that is comfortable for our customers," he said.
"For 2012, the plan is to get back to basics - improving distribution; growing the business."
PanCaribbean is one of Jamaica's largest financial services companies, with assets of J$80 billion and a net worth of J$12 billion at yearend December 2011.
The company, which is 83 per cent owned by Sagicor Life Jamaica, made profit of J$1.72 billion, or earnings per share of J$3.12, last year.