PanCaribbean spending J$46m-plus to rebrand
Steve Jackson, Business Reporter
Pan Caribbean Financial Services relisted Monday under its new name - Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited and trading symbol 'S' - to complete the alignment of its the brand with that of its majority owner.
The cost to rebrand: in excess of J$46 million at current exchange rates.
"We have been resourceful in reallocating some of the costs, but in the final analysis it will likely exceed US$500,000," said president and CEO of Sagicor Investments, Donovan Perkins.
Insurance group Sagicor Life Jamaica (SLJ) owns over 85.4 per cent of Sagicor Investments. The other 14 per cent is held by another 1,633 shareholders. Perkins and family holds the second-largest block of shares with just under 6.2 million units or 1.1 per cent, according to the latest disclosures.
The company's rebranding will eliminate confusion with Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, a recently started Chinese-owned operation. But the name of PanCaribbean will continue to live inside the financial services group.
Asked whether the name would be gifted to the Chinese sugar operators, Perkins stated: "We were disappointed that this situation happened and it did cause a bit of market confusion and I'll leave it at that. However, we will retain a small subsidiary with the nomenclature to protect the brand in our industry segment."
Earlier this year, shareholders of PanCaribbean agreed to the name change for both the investment company and its commercial banking arm, PanCaribbean Bank Limited. The latter is now known as Sagicor Bank Jamaica Limited.
PanCaribbean was first listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in 2001 and is currently valued on the market at J$12 billion. It's the only stock market company to trade under a single letter. Its acronym, 'SIJL', was already taken by rival Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited.
The decision to rebrand followed market research and instinct that indicated low market knowledge for the PanCaribbean brand despite its linkage to the Sagicor Jamaica group.
"It was a bit of both research and intuition, plus other qualitative factors that led to our decision to rebrand PanCaribbean to Sagicor," said Perkins.
"Research indicated that PanCaribbean is known and respected in certain market segments for its high service standards, people, execution and intellectual capital. However, independent research indicated that recognition of our PanCaribbean brand was nowhere near that of Sagicor, where nine out of 10 Jamaicans readily recognise its name."
aim to grow business
Perkins said that his goal was to grow the business in a number of ways - new products and services, improved distribution and broadening its brand appeal through its commercial bank.
"Sagicor is highly respected, is trusted and well recognised at all levels of the Jamaican market segments. Rebranding to Sagicor will help tremendously, and we plan to work harder to take advantage of the doors that will open more readily and allow us to build more competitive muscles," he said.
The Sagicor Jamaica group was itself initially called Life of Jamaica, before rebranding in 2008 to align with its Barbados parent, Sagicor Financial Corporation. However, the rebranding did not spill over to PanCaribbean at the time, despite the merger of marketing and other functions between the two operations.
"There was a fair amount of discussion on this front. We've looked on rebranding periodically and the research became too compelling. We now have research that indicates we should take advantage of rebranding. I have to confess, also, that the red and blue colours of PanCaribbean runs through my veins as well as everyone here. It came as a shock to our team initially, but everyone in now excited as they have gone through the rebranding workshops and understand what this means for them and the company," said Perkins.
The Sagicor colours are blue and green. Sagicor Bank's logo sports those colours, but Sagicor Investments' logo is entirely blue and comes in a different shade.
Sagicor Financial Group is a leading Caribbean financial services organisation with operations in 20 countries, including Latin America and the United States. Sagicor Jamaica is its most lucrative asset.