KINGSTON, Jamaica–The JMMB Group received full support from all shareholders present, or those voting by proxy, on Thursday during an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) at the Terra Nova Hotel.
The shareholders gave a resounding 100 per cent vote, signalling their approval for a new scheme of arrangement for JMMB Ltd. This will see the transfer of ownership of the subsidiaries across the region and JMMB Ltd., to the holding company, JMMB Group Ltd. The move will allow the JMMB Group to meet the regulatory requirements outlined by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), allowing the central bank a comprehensive and unlimited access to information about all the companies comprising the group.
In keeping with this strategic thrust, the company will continue to further strengthen its local and regional presence in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and T&T.The JMMB Group will now become the holding company for JMMB Limited and the other subsidiary companies in Jamaica, T&T and the Dominican Republic.
Immediately following its EGM, JMMB proceeded with its annual general meeting during which, the company shared the building out of its regional diversification strategy, and highlights of each subsidiary's performance. Keith Duncan, Group CEO, noted that the company has had some positive results, which will be "a win win situation for all its stakeholders"–shareholders, clients and team members.
Commenting to the value of regional diversification, Duncan said: "The group's core earnings and core profits continued on an upward trajectory, with revenue growing by 13.88 per cent and a 17. 10 per cent growth in profits year-over-year", despite the challenging economy in Jamaica.
JMMB continues to experience significant returns from its operations in the Dominican Republic, based on its first mover advantage; boasting the highest level of profitability of any securities company in that country. JMMB Puesto de Bolsa recorded an increase of 61.61 per cent (US$3.96 million) net profit for the 2013/14 financial year.
In the T&T market, the focus has been on building out group's integrated financial services model, with the acquisition of the JMMB's first commercial bank in 2013 (Intercommercial Bank Limited and Intercommercial Merchant Bank Ltd–IBL Banking Group); and management of the newly launched JMMB Investments T&T (JMMBITT).
Against the backdrop of a more integrated approach across the Group, investments have been made in T&T in both personnel and infrastructural capabilities during the 2013/14 financial year, resulting in a 22 per centincrease in operational expenses.
This investment, IBL's CEO Krishna Boodhai explained, "will facilitate the expansion of service delivery channels to improve branch experience." In spite of this increase, and the impact of a one-off provisioning on its loan portfolio in the first quarter, IBL made a net profit of TT$6.58 million for the 2013/14 financial year, and grew its total assets by 13 per cent (US$278 million).
In Jamaica, while the economic climate remains challenging, operations have had optimistic results with the implementation of strategic initiatives through: further diversification of business lines, with the robust expansion of JMMB's Capital Markets Unit, to offer customised and innovative solutions to medium and large corporate clients; the increase in off-balance sheet assets, as shown in an increase in net profits of J$197.66 million of JMMB Fund Managers Ltd.
In addition, there is a greater thrust towards leveraging synergies across the group and increasing operational efficiencies in order to curb the increase operating costs, over the last financial year.
Duncan shared his timeline for the JMMB Group to reap further benefits: "As we complete our targeted acquisitions across the region, we (expect to) see a positive impact of the build-out of the group's integrated financial services model over the next two-five years. This will result in increased long-term sustainable returns to all our shareholders; (which will be ) a win/win for all stakeholders."
The JMMB Group's future strategic direction will entail the roll-out of the integrated financial services model across the region starting in Jamaica and later in T&T and the Dominican Republic. This strategy will entail greater financial offerings as a result of the business line diversification, which will provide an increased range of financial solutions to cater to clients, as an integrated financial services provider; underpinned by a culture of financial partnership.
Additionally, the three-year strategy will see the company implementing a new and differentiated group branch experience, grounded in JMMB's culture, enhanced by a multi-channel experience through the company's electronic service delivery strategy. In keeping with the integrated strategy, the JMMB Group will also introduce a goal-oriented financial solutions approach, to offer a dynamic management of client portfolios.