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Sagicor wraps up Alliance Investment securities portfolio deal

Sagicor Group Jamaica announced this week that it has completed the purchase of the securities dealer book of Alliance Investment Management Limited, AIML, by its subsidiary Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited.

The price of the acquisition and the size of the portfolio of business were not disclosed.

In a media statement Sagicor said it had completed its due diligence and fulfilled all regulatory requirements following the signalling of its intention in April to ink the deal. The business acquisition followed Sagicor Group’s purchase of 100 per cent of the shares in another Alliance entity, Alliance Financial Services Limited, ASFL, in March.

“This client portfolio purchase expands the business of Sagicor Investments, offering an opportunity to serve a wider client base. We are delighted to welcome our new clients to the Sagicor family and look forward to giving them stellar service, personalised attention, sound financial advice and diversified investment products and services to meet their investment goals,” Sagicor Group Jamaica President and CEO Christopher Zacca said of the AIML clients acquisition.

The purchases followed legal troubles involving related company Alliance Finance Limited and former principals Peter Chin and Robert Chin. Alliance Finance Limited and the Chins were charged in December last year by the Financial Investigation Division for various contraventions of the Bank of Jamaica and Banking Services laws. Alliance Finance Limited was fined earlier this year.

As a result of the problems the related company, AIML was placed under increased surveillance by the securities regulator, the Financial Services Commission.

In February this year the FSC confirmed to the Financial Gleaner that AIML remained a licensed dealer and said the entity “continues to operate with FSC supervision in line with our mandates”.

“Whilst due diligence in this regard is the responsibility of Sagicor, the FSC has been fully engaged in this matter and has provided SIJL with guidance from a regulatory perspective,” Sagicor Group said in April about the planned AIML deal.

The earlier acquisition by Sagicor of AFSL had received the blessing of the banking regulator, Bank of Jamaica, which reinstated the company’s cambio and remittance licences under Sagicor’ new management. The Sagicor Group CEO said this week that AFSL is now fully enabled on the international MoneyGram platform.

Sagicor has been able, through the acquisitions, to make inroads into new business lines including remittance and cambio services. A popular prepaid card business operated by Alliance Financial has been rolled into the card division of Sagicor’s commercial banking subsidiary Sagicor Bank.

Omar Brown, the Sagicor staffer chosen to head up the AFSL under Sagicor’s management since April 1, previously outlined to the Financial Gleaner, a mandate to significantly expand the remittance and cambio businesses. The growth plan involves Sagicor Bank utilising ASFL 110 remittance service subagents to significantly increase the bank’s footprint across Jamaica, while creating more locations for selling insurance and investment products.

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