Friday 14 August, 2020

VM Investments aims to roll out its first digital product this year

Rezworth Burchenson, CEO of Victoria Mutual Investments Limited

Rezworth Burchenson, CEO of Victoria Mutual Investments Limited

Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL) is aiming to roll out its first digital product this year.

The company has already launched an agile lab, as part of its digitisation programme, aimed at the transformation of client experience, said VMIL CEO Rezworth Burchenson.

Burchenson said, under COVID-19, VMIL has set itself an objective to keep clients informed of their investment options under very challenging conditions.

Concerning digital initiatives, Burchenson said last year’s acquisition of fintech firm, Carilend, was in line with the company’s objective to apply technology to provide value to its customers. 

Burchensen said the intention is for Carilend to launch in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The key metric to watch for them is their loan book,” he said, noting that this was growing,” he said.

What’s more, VM Investments will be focusing on new products, a larger sales team and deeper distribution.

For the year ended December 2019, the company achieve net profits of $598 million.

VMIL also executed its first underwriting transaction, as a listed company, in its capital markets unit for a transaction size of $2 billion.

Stock price improved during the year by 138.28 per cent, with Burchenson noting, “We are grateful for the tremendous confidence our investors have placed in us, evidenced by this impressive return.”

During the year, the company also structured nearly $1 billion corporate note for Stewart’s Hardware, and managing the rights issue for Kingston Properties Limited, which raised over $2 billion.

Earnings came from net operating revenue for 2019 of $1,682.96 million was a $376.19 million or 28.79 per cent improvement over the previous year’s revenue of $1,306.78 million.

The pandemic has however, led to a reduction in earnings for the company.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, VMIL recorded consolidated net loss of $36.90 million, reflecting a decrease of $154.76 million over the corresponding 2019 quarter.

Consolidated loss before tax for the three months ended March 31, 2020 was $88.56 million, representing a reduction of $249.25 million when compared with the previous year.

Earnings per share for the quarter was -$0.02 (March 31, 2019: $0.08). The Group’s performance was adversely impacted by a reduction in net fees, commissions and gains from investment activities.

Consolidated revenue for the three-month period was $268.37 million, reflecting a decrease of $169.67 million when compared with the corresponding period of 2019.

In the report for the quarter, Burchenson and Chairman Michael McMorris explained that the company’s capital Markets fee income was negatively impacted due to the instability and weak forecasts for a global recovery from COVID-19.

“Nonetheless, our guidance to corporates reinforces the need for capital to bolster balance sheets, weather the revenue downturn and provide liquidity to capitalise on opportunities, which will materialise,” they noted.

Burchenson indicated that VMIL is working on executing transactions in its pipeline while building new deal flows for the remainder of the year.

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