Here to stay
Sagicor assures barbadians that jobs are safe
Sagicor General Insurance is in Barbados to stay and jobs are safe.
This assurance has come from David Alleyne, president and chief executive officer of Sagicor General Insurance Inc., amidst mounting concerns over Sagicor’s announcement that it plans to change its country of domicile.
Speaking to reporters during a media conference today at Sagicor General’s Haggatt Hall location, Alleyne said the over 100 staff at that company would not be impacted and neither would any of the staff at Sagicor Life.
He stressed that the discussion regarding re-domiciling related to Sagicor Financial Corporation, the non-operating holding company. Sagicor General Insurance is owned by Sagicor Life, a member of the Sagicor Group of companies.
“The decision to move the domicile will not affect the operations of Sagicor Life or Sagicor General in anyway whatsoever in terms of the security of jobs or in the ability of the company to serve its clients and policyholders . . . There has been some amount of fear that all aspects of Sagicor was moving out of the country; that is not so,” stressed Alleyne.
“The overall holding company of Sagicor Financial Corporation, which is a non-operating holding company, is the entity that is rated. This entity is the one that is proposed to relocate to another as yet undecided location – a country with at least investment grade ratings,” Alleyne further explained.
Sagicor Financial Corporation employs about 15 people, most of whom the company said operate in “a virtual business environment, spending quite a lot of time travelling to various locations”, and therefore employment would not be significantly impacted.
Alleyne said Sagicor General remained committed to Barbados and to the insurance public.
“I want to make it clear that the operations of Sagicor General and Sagicor Life are all continuing to operate in Barbados and the other territories without any changes . . . . We are continuing to serve the Barbados public. There will be no job losses in Barbados at Sagicor General because of any proposed relocation of domicile. There will be no higher policy premiums for customers of Sagicor General because of the relocation of domicile,” he said.
Speaking at a Democratic Labour Party branch meeting on Sunday night, Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman suggested that Sagicor was showing ingratitude in its decision to re-domicile after all that Barbados had done for the company.
However, Alleyne said Sagicor General would continue to invest in the Barbados economy “in multiple ways”, while continuing its various programmes and investment in the company’s operations here.
“There is no intention of the company to turn its back, as has been suggested in some quarters, on the Barbados economy. We have always been here and we continue to be here to stay,” he said.
Stressing that downgrades were not good for the country or for companies that were rated, Alleyne insisted that Standard & Poor’s recent downgrade of both Barbados and Sagicor was the only reason behind the company’s decision to change its country of domicile.
He pointed out that while the company was already “very strong” financially, the move would help further strengthen it.
The Sagicor official said while Barbados was doing what it could to strengthen its economic position, more work needed to be done.
“The productivity level in Barbados has to go up for sure. We have to create opportunities for ourselves as a country and a people. I don’t see any reason why working together we can’t achieve what we want to achieve. We need to create more companies like Sagicor,” contended Alleyne.
The Sagicor Group has equity of over US$700 million and assets of over US$5 billion.