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VM Wealth offers free advisory service to assist retooling during pandemic

VICTORIA Mutual Wealth Management Limited (VM Wealth), the investment arm of the Victoria Mutual (VM) Group, is urging small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of its free advisory services to retool and restructure their businesses for growth in the post-pandemic era.

Devon Barrett, group chief investment officer and head of the Strategic Investments Unit, VM Group, said advisory services offered through VM Wealth and its parent company, Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL), provide SMEs with a road map to success by critically analysing their business plans and giving expert guidance on the way forward.

“Business owners need to take steps now to avoid a situation where they are unable to compete after the crisis ends because they did not retool,” Barrett said, addressing a virtual audience at the ‘VM Wealth Talk: 2021 Business Success Strategies’ webinar recently.

In addition to assisting clients to restructure their businesses, Barrett said VM Wealth can also assist SMEs to access or raise necessary equity or debt capital.

“There is financial capital available in the marketplace waiting to be deployed, but you need to get your business organised. We will guide you. To restructure, you must have up to date financial statements and good corporate governance. We will look at your organisational structure, your support services such as accounting, marketing and legal services. We will help you with this restructuring and then help you to raise the capital you need,” he explained.

Additionally, he noted that the commitment by VMIL to have capital available for SMEs in the productive sector is still available. At VMIL’s initial public offering in 2017, $1 billion was committed for investment in the productive sector.

“Victoria Mutual has capital right now waiting to be deployed to entities that we think are ready to move to the next level,” Barrett shared.

He further urged business owners to utilise opportunities available through the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) , which he described as being “underutilised”. Companies that list on the Junior Market receive a full income tax break for the first five years after listing, and a 50 per cent income tax break over the next five years.

“I encourage businesses to utilise this facility to raise capital as it will allow them to exploit opportunities made possible by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.