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JMMB now offering personalised service to small clients

Published:Sunday | November 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Avia Collinder, Business Reporter

Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) is pitching a new service, which offers the type of personalised attention to the average investor that was previously the province of big clients with private bankers.

The system makes use of automated alerts to update clients on financial targets, and features inbuilt forecasting which allows them to adjust saving levels as needed.

With funds under management of $146.88 billion as at September 30, the brokerage house indicates that it expects a significant impact on saving levels and new client acquisition from the multichannel marketing push.

JMMB has not quantified how big a pull it expects in terms of new clientele, but said it expects to take in $30 million more from the service between now and its financial yearend in March.

"We have no projections for new client growth to the end of the financial year because our initial focus will be on the existing client base of about 200,000. In the new year our focus will widen," said JMMB group marketing manager, Kerry-Ann Stimpson.

Launched at the start of November, JMMB is going up against major market savings products such as National Commercial Bank's OMNI programme and Scotiabank Jamaica's Scotiamint.

The campaign is being run in the traditional media channels of television, radio and print, as well as social media and other online channels.

Stimpson said research conducted among target clients found that two-thirds believe they can save one to 24 per cent of their income; 23 per cent believed they can set aside less than 10 per cent.

"Based on the factors expressed, that inhibit their ability to save more, we believe that a more detailed approach to budgeting, having an emergency fund in place; gaining access to better financial education and practical savings and investment plan, are just some of the important things that will augur to the benefit of helping Jamaicans to better save for their future," Stimpson said.

The new service involves a first face-to-face meeting with a financial adviser to discuss, quantify and set personal financial goals, followed later with automatic alerts built-in that indicate to JMMB representatives "when it's time for them to do a routine check-up with their clients for periodic goal plan reviews".

Automatic reminders will be sent to clients in the event of a missed date to invest additional funds into their plan, according to their goal plan schedule.

"The tool also ensures that the clients' goal plan is well diversified across the varying financial asset classes, with a view to ensuring that there is also an adequate balance of liquidity, risk, and performance," said Stimpson.

"For virtually any goal that a client has, we are able to give them an approximate dollar value cost of that goal. For example, if my goal is to save for my three-year-old child's UWI tuition, JMMB will be able to tell me the approximate cost of sending my child to UWI for three years, in 15 years' time. So, no longer will a client be investing 'in the dark', which tends to happen often ... with usually unpleasant surprises at the end, when the time comes to pay the tuition fees, and parents realise that they don't have enough saved to cover it," she said.

The plan includes benefits similar to private banking, she stated, in that quarterly statements will be generated for each client with progress updates and indicating whether they are on track to achieve their dollar value target within the time frame specified.

Clients will have the option to choose the financial assets that go into their plans and to instruct JMMB on how to re-balance their portfolio.

"Of course, in investing there is never a concrete guarantee of a return, but expertise of the investment manager and a commitment to investing is important to goal achievement," said Stimpson in response to what levels of returns clients may expect.