Not at our expense

Insurance giant Sagicor is warning that any “mopping up operation” it carries out regarding the failed British American Insurance Company Ltd (BAICO) will not be at its shareholders’ expense.

Chairman of Sagicor Financial Corporation Stephen McNamara yesterday said the industry had been “severely battered” as a result of the collapse of CLICO, which has resulted in long-running efforts by shareholders to recover their investments.

The Trinidad-based McNamara said his company was prepared to help restore the industry’s reputation but it would tread carefully to ensure its shareholders, policyholders and investors did not suffer losses.

“Sagicor considers it part of its duty to help restore confidence in this industry, which has been severely battered by some of the stuff that has gone on, particularly with relevance to CLICO,” the Sagicor Chairman told journalists from Barbados and Trinidad in a joint video conference from Port of Spain, during which he shared details on the company’s performance for the financial year ending December 31, 2015.

“I would hope that wherever Sagicor is in a position to assist it will do so, but every step that we take in that direction has to be very, very cautiously taken with the outcome for our shareholders in mind. It is not every mopping up operation [that] is going to be of benefit to us, but we are certainly awaiting any opportunity that proves reasonable, affordable and in the long run, beneficial to our shareholders.

“The reputation of the industry is of paramount importance to us after the battering it has taken, and to the extent that Sagicor is able to help in restoring that by retrieving some of these loss causes, we will do it, but not at the expenses of our existing policyholders and investors and shareholders. That I think is a reasonable explanation of our position.”

In its detailed final report filed in the Supreme Court on March 14, 2016, KPMG, the judicial manager of BAICO, outlined a timeline for the assets to be transferred to Sagicor, as agreed under the restructuring plan late last year.

The judicial manager estimated that after three months following the court hearing on May 18, a Bar Date and Lapsed Policy Offer Deadline were to be set, “to bring certainty to the terms and values of the policies” that would be transferred to Sagicor, with the transfer completion date expected about a month later.

The document stated that shortly after, BAICO’s assets should be transferred to Sagicor and Government support should be finalized and bonds issued.

While the proposed transfer date is still more than two months away, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sagicor Life Patricia Downes-Grant said Sagicor had not received any negative feedback from its shareholders regarding the recommendation that it assumes the BAICO portfolio.

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