Sun | May 1, 2016

GHL launches unified brand

Published:Friday | July 26, 2013 | 12:00 AM
The Guardian Life Centre in New Kingston. Guardian Holdings Limited is rebranding all its subsidiaries and will be repositioned under the name, Guardian Group. - Photo by LAVERN CLARKE

Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) announced the rebranding of group companies, under which eight subsidiaries and the holding company will carry a new identity and repositioned under one brand - Guardian Group.

Some companies undergo name changes.

"Eight companies are part of the group with eight brands. The ninth brand is the holding company," said Lisa Hogarth, manager of integrated marketing communica-tions for GHL, at the launch of the branding programme in Kingston.

"Now we will have one brand for eight companies. However, the legal entities will remain. All the legal entities will retain their names as well," Hogarth said.

The eight companies are spread across the region. They include Guardian Life Limited, Globe Insurance, West Indies Alliance, Guardian Life of the Caribbean, Guardian General Insurance Limited, Guardian Asset Management, Royal & Sun Alliance Antilles, and Fatum.

GHL's most recent Jamaican acquisition, Globe Insurance, is being merged with West Indies Alliance to form Guardian General Insurance Jamaica Limited.

Guardian acquired Globe from the Lascelles deMercado group last year for a consideration of US$38 million. The sale occurred ahead of the December takeover of Lascelles' spirits and mer-chandising assets by Gruppo Campari.

GHL CEO Jeffrey Mack declined to disclose total spend on the rebranding programme - which includes signage and a Caribbean-wide marketing programme. He said GHL advertising spend had been restrained in the last few years in preparation for the rebranding push.

The programme will improve both shareholder value and the insurance conglomerate's bottom line, he said, but as to how much: "It's difficult to measure," he said.

"The name Guardian has good branding equity, with a lot of positive feelings and associations," said Mack.

The marketing campaign, he said, would be seeking to build trust in the group's products and services.

Alongside Globe, new acquisitions include Royal & Sun Alliance Antilles for US$18 million and Dutch insurance broker, Thoma Exploitatie, B.V. for US$8.9 million - all purchased between November and December 2012.

Guardian Holdings serves 21 markets across the Caribbean and claims pole position as the largest indigenous insurance provider and the largest life operation in the region, through its subsidiaries Guardian Life of the Caribbean, Guardian Life Limited, and Fatum Life and Health.

At the end of the first quarter, the group's asset base was US$3.6 billion. The group employs 1,764 persons and 913 agents across the English and Dutch Caribbean, but excluding RSA Antilles.

Locally, GHL said its recent investments have amounted to US$53 million for its acquisition of Globe and an upgrade to one of its real-estate holdings, a hotel in Ocho Rios operated on its behalf by the Sandals Resorts International group under its Beaches brand.

Approximately 20 per cent of GHL's revenue and profits are expected to be derived from its Jamaican business interests this year, the company said in releases provided at the rebranding event.

The marketing thrust for the newly united group includes several new logos intended to increase group identity and push its pension, insurance and investment products under the theme, 'Live Well, Live Safe and Live Wise'.

The rebranding campaign is designed by Abovegroup Ogilvy of Trinidad.

GHL previously rolled out the rebranding campaign in Trinidad and will follow up the Kingston event with another in Barbados.

Group vice-president of integrated marketing communi-cations, Larry Olton, said GHL's sponsorship of the Caribbean Premier League T20 competition would assist in reinforcing the new single brand.