VMIL to deepen Diaspora engagement in 2021

VICTORIA Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL), in an effort to grow market share and add more profitability to the company, said that it will be seeking to deepen its engagement with people of the Diaspora as a strategic part of its outlook this year.

“There are 3 million Jamaicans on the rock and 3 million Jamaicans outside, and those Jamaicans are eager to invest in our market leading property funds, real estate and equity portfolios. They are eager to understand the opportunities that are here in our capital market.

“Therefore, we believe that we need to look at the 3 million Jamaicans here and those [abroad] as there are markets there that need to be served,” said Rezworth Burchenson, chief executive officer (CEO) of VMIL at an investors’ briefing held by the company last Thursday.

With the addition of digital products and services last year, including an innovative client management portal, investors locally and abroad are expected to conveniently access their accounts and make transaction requests online.

Noting that locally some 10 per cent of the population are currently engaged in the trade of equities, Burchenson also said more needs to done in terms of equipping people with the requisite financial literacy. He said his company, in response to this need, has moved to invest not only in systems but also in the talent and human resources needed to bring more investors to the market and to the products and services of VMIL

The financial services company, which has had its share of COVID-19 challenges since the onset of the pandemic last year, despite the odds has managed to roll out new locations, introduce new products and services, and now also boasts new and improved cutting edge digital platforms. VMIL, which was also upbeat about its plans for future expansion, said steps were already being taken in this regard.

Burchenson, who did not want to divulge much about the company’s plans, said that a specially tasked unit of the larger Victoria Mutual (VM) Group is currently scanning potential deals with hopes of them bearing fruit in the near future.

“There is a strategic acquisitions unit and they have identified a number of jurisdictions where we believe our model can be successfully replicated and we are exploring those opportunities, which are numerous. It is on our radar and on the balance scorecard for VMIL,” he said.

The VM Group, which grew revenues to $1.87 billion in its last financial year, through its individual business segments is further seeking to bolster profit margins. This it believes can be achieved through the number of diversified products and services being rolled out to boost digital efficiencies and enable better client experiences across the group.

“We are building a more diversified revenue base. It is that diversified base that has served us well in 2020 and we’ll continue to build an enterprise that has this kind of base so as to protect that bottom line,” Burchenson said.