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Taking the Neal out of Massy

...conglomerate rebrands, refocuses and looks to expand
Thursday, July 3, 2014
PHOTOS: Roberto Codallo

Many people were stunned on Monday when Neal & Massy Holdings announced that it was rebranding the group and changing the name of every single one of the 60 companies in the consortium’s portfolio to incorporate Massy.


Would the group change the name of Hi-Lo, the 64-year-old enterprise that has almost become synonymous with supermarkets in T&T?


Why was Massy dropping the Neal from its name?


And what does all of this mean for the generations of Trinidadians who have grown up buying their groceries from Hi-Lo, their cars from Neal & Massy Automotive and their homes from Nealco Properties.


In an interview on Thursday last, Massy’s group CEO Gervase Warner said the process of arriving at Monday’s announcement—which took place officially at an evening function at NAPA—began in 2011, when the group did two things that led to the rebranding: First, it crafted a new vision statement that stated that it would be “a force for good: the most responsible and profitable investment holding/management company in the Caribbean Basin.” 


That vision statement set the company an aspiration for growth that was beyond the shores of the English-speaking Caricom countries to the region’s Latin American neighbours.


Warner, who was appointed as CEO of the group in 2009 following the death of Bernard Dulal-Whiteway, said Neal & Massy also embarked on a strategic planning exercise that “identified that there were a number of businesses that we had that if we were to find a way to bring them to better work together—to work on behalf of consumers and customers—we would have some very powerful offerings to the marketplace.”