Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2013 Contents MAY 2013 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
After investing millions of dollars to renovate
its new Nagico Insurance office, the Nagico
Group will be in the insurance business in
T&T for the long run, said group chief executive
officer Imran McSood Amjad.
"This is not about you enter and try some-
thing and you leave. Believe me, we do not
want to come here and spend million of dollars
in renovation in T&T just because we are
trying something. We are here to stay, we are
here to achieve great results."
Amjad was speaking at the May 24 launch
of the company s rebranding at Nagico Insur-
ance, Queen Street, Port-of-Spain.
In October 2011, GTM Insurance was pur-
chased by the largest privately-owned regional
insurer National General Insurance Corporation
NV, (Nagico Insurances).
He said the acquisition of GTM Insurance
is part of the group s strategic vision to have
a footprint throughout the region.
Amjad said Nagico spent about $6 million
on the renovation of the Port-of-Spain office
and expects to spend another $3 million to
renovate the San Fernando branch.
The Nagico Group started in 1982 in St
Amjad gave the story of its humble begin-
nings to its present asset base of around $1
"It was just me and a few other employees
and it started off with $75,000 in paid up
capital, and I am very proud to say now Nagico,
as a group, is a very substantial group. It is
the largest privately-owned insurance company
in the region. Our shareholder equity is over
$500 million. You could have a company with
a lot of assets, but if you do not have equity,
you could end up with a Clico. At the end of
the day, your equity is of value to the share-
T&T insurance market
He said Nagico now writes more than $700
million in premiums in the region.
"We have many qualified people in our
group, we are in 19 territories. Fifteen years
ago, I had a vision that by 2020, we would
be in 20 countries and we have almost passed
Amjad said T&T insurance market is "com-
petitive" compared to the North American
and European markets.
"T&T is unlike the rest of the Caribbean
market. It is a bit more mature. We have met
that in other places and are not that con-
Amjad said the Nagico Group strategy is to
offer the best products and services efficient-
"We can improve our claims services, our
ICT systems, our staff is being trained and
better customer service," he said.
He said Nagico has a very large treaty base
that makes it competitive in T&T.
"This means if you have a building to insure,
we have the capacity to insure that building
up to US$20 million or $125 million. The only
other company in T&T that is close to that
is Guardian Life with $60 million. This means
if you have a risk greater that $20 million,
then we have to go to the London market to
place the balance of the coverage. There is a
lot of risk in T&T between the $5 million and
$20 million mark. So we do not have to go to
the open market; we can place it under our
Amjad said there has been change in the 18
months since Nagico took control of GTM.
"When I came here, there were a lot of peo-
ple in the directorship that asked if I am sure
I want to do this with the company in T&T.
The building is a wreck, but I began in the
industry with GTM in 1975 and when the time
for the purchase came, it was not that difficult
to do it."
He said he was "appalled" at the circum-
stances under which the employees worked
under the GTM brand.
"The air condition did not work and people
were complaining of feeling ill. I came here
in 1979 when I was with GTM Guyana. I came
here for training and I still recognised the
carpet when I returned in 2011," Amjad said.
"I promised the staff we would change the
circumstances. People thought I could not
transform this place. That was my plan."
"Insurance is one about service, is one in
which you cannot feel, eat or drink. When
you buy an insurance policy, you buy trust
and with a high degree of faith that if some-
thing goes wrong, the company will be there
He said the Nagico Group has increased
employee training to help the company be
more competitive in its T&T operations and
increased its staff from 50 in 2011 to 60.
"All our staff have licences. We have 13
member of staff in the insurance training pro-
gramme, which is the starting stage for some-
one to become a chartered property and casu-
Amjad said the company is targeting uni-
versity graduates for its management trainee
"Already, two of these have moved up a step
further and as of next month, will be appointed
full-fledged managers in Nagico Trinidad.
Anyone who has studied and become a man-
agement trainee has the opportunity to become
a manager within the organisation. As we grow
we will need more managers and not less."
Amjad said he is counting on staff to help
achieve annual targets.
"Our premium income has grown from the
time we purchased the company from $45
million and our budget this year is in excess
of $100 million, and I am pleased to tell you,
we are ahead of those projections. We will
have an superior claims system."
He said the Nagico Group has hired specialist
computer programmers who are building a
state-of-the-art computer system.
"I told my managers, we could have seven
chartered accountants, ICT people, we could
have all the expert underwriters, but nothing
happens if the business does not come through
the door. If you do not get the business through
the door, you do not need accountants because
there is nothing to count," Amjad said.
From humble beginnings to billion-dollar vision
NAGICO'S ALL ABOUT SERVICE
From Page 6
"So when Republic Bank or EOG
Resources gives money, it goes to building
a house," she said.
Habitat T&T, in existence since 1997, has
built an average of 30 houses a year for the
last five years. The NGO, which employs 17
people full-time, builds houses and provides
housing solutions: repairs, finishings.
"Sometimes we have home partners who
raise money on their own to do a foundation
or walls and come in with a partner to finish
it."During its last financial year, which runs
from July to June, it completed 59 housing
solutions: 14 new houses, 30 repairs and 15
incremental housing solutions by providing
hurricane straps to roofs of homes in
Cumana, Toco, a coastal community ravaged
by the September 2010 freak storm. Now
Habitat s working on a reforestation pro-
gramme. Houses have been built in Valencia,
Cap-de-Ville, Mayaro, Couva, and Febeau
Village in San Juan.
"It s a holistic way of moving people from
one stage to another," Hutchinson Wallace
Repair jobs can cost from $10,000, and
construction of a three-bedroom unit can
be done at $150,000. Habitat has three types:
one-, two- and three-bedroom homes.
"We can keep it at that price because of
volunteer labour. Trinidad Cement Ltd has
been generous because of the cost they sell
us cement at," Hutchinson Wallace said.
She said Habitat has basic Town and
Country Planning Division approval for its
housing units, although the process for utility
approval "can be a little long."
"Construction, meaning from approval to
breaking ground to painting and handing
over of keys, takes 16 weeks."
In its outreach sessions, Habitat asks peo-
ple to donate whatever sums they can afford
to assist with building homes for the less
fortunate: "$100 a monthly for 12 months
will put a roof on."
Hutchinson Wallace said Habitat is cur-
rently in the middle of an ambitious fundrais-
ing drive under the title, Capital Campaign.
"We have a distinguished panel of sup-
porters headed by (Republic Bank chairman)
Ronald Harford, who has Gregory Aboud,
Helen Bhagwansingh, Eugene Tiah and
Dominic Hadeed, on board. They are helping
us by advocating in their network to raise
$65 million in the next four years. We just
crossed $18 million.
"We did a comprehensive feasibility study.
We know we can reap that philanthropic
harvest. When I was at (T&T) Red Cross
(Society), after the Haiti earthquake, we
raised more than $1 million in a matter of
months," Hutchinson Wallace said.
"We know how to give."
Aim: $65m in four years
Habitat's Tracy Hutchinson Wallace
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