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VMIL expanding in 2021 despite COVID-19 challenge

In spite of the challenges being faced by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL) is being bullish in 2021, planning further expansion to grow market share.

Having rolled out a number of expansion initiatives last year, VMIL is upping the ante in 2021 with another branch to be opened later this year.

CEO of VMIL and VM Wealth Management, Rez Burchenson, who made the disclosure at a recen t Jamaica Observer Business Forum was upbeat about the 2021 expansion plans.

The new branch, which Burchenson declined to identify the location, will add to the four branches at the University of Technology, Liguanea, Duke Street and Savanna-la-Mar, which were all opened last year.

ROLLING OUT EXPANSION INITIATIVES

VMIL is listed on the local stock market, where its shares are publicly traded. The VMIL CEO, flanked by other executives of the Victoria Mutual Group including its President Courtney Campbell, spoke about other initiatives to be rolled out this year.

These initiatives are designed to grow market share and to make VMIL and the broader VMBS more competitive in the financial services market. While not willing to disclose these expansion plans, the VMBS executives attending the Observer’s Business Forum were confident of growth in 2021 in spite of the pandemic.

According to Burchenson, “We have a lot of things planned for the future. We are well positioned for the future and the expansion is now on in earnest.” However, they conceded that the novel coronavirus pandemic severely disrupted all sectors of the economy.

This was manifested in volatile asset prices in the investment markets, which impacted players in the financial services sector. However, the team at VMIL managed to achieve a number of milestones.

These include the launch of its innovative Client Management Portal, which allows clients to conveniently access their statements and make transaction requests online as well as the launch of two additional products based on feedback from clients.

NEW PRODUCTS AND NEW SERVICES

The new product additions are the VM Unit Trust Goal Maximizer Portfolio and its US Equity Trading platform. In addition, VMIL launched last year its Premium Wealth Service catering to the needs of its ultra-high net worth clients, while successfully executing its regional expansion of Carilend.

Carilend is VMIL’s peer-to-peer lending platform with the regional expansion started with the launch of Carilend Jamaica. Burchenson made the point that while these expansion initiatives did not affect the bottom line much in 2020, he is confident that they will deliver significant benefits to shareholders and clients in the years to come.

The Victroria Mutual Group team was excited to speak about a new subsidiary, which was launched last year. The newest VM Group subsidiary, named VM Innovations Limited, is in the business of exploring new business models in ways not currently being done in the local environment.

That subsidiary is headed by information technology (IT) expert Maurice Barnes, who was the former head of eGOV Jamaica, which provides the necessary IT support for Government ministries, departments and agencies.