Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2013 Contents BG8 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt DECEMBER 2013 • WEEK THREE
There would be an increase in insurance companies
folding when the Insurance Bill, 2013 comes into
effectsays Jeffrey Mack, outgoing group chief exec-
utive officer of Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL).
He said this means companies like GHL would be strategically
positioned in the market to "take up the slack" by absorbing
those companies clients.
"I think what this new insurance Act is going to do is lead
to additional consolidation in this market place because com-
panies are going to have to be better capitalised. They are
going to have to spend more money on risk management,
more money on compliance and things we already do already.
We think this will lead to consolidation and GHL is going to
be well positioned to take advantage.
"I think (the Act) can be compared to any of the first world
regulatory standards around. Obviously, some are still more
robust. For the companies we have, I think it s going to be
a very good piece of legislation."
Mackm who has 33 years experience in the industry, was
speaking in an interview on Monday at GHL s head office,
Guardian Drive, Westmoorings.
Commenting further on the Bill, Mack supported the require-
ment in the Bill for insurance companies to have more capital
in hand as this means the public would have more confidence
in insurance companies.
"The very basic value proposition of insurance is security
and trust. You re buying a product or promise for us to deliver
something in the future, n order for us in the industry to stand
by those promises - that, in many cases, won t be delivered
until many years in the future. Because of the long-term nature
and the trust inherent in what we provide as industry, it is
important to ensure the industry is very-well capitalised.
People feel that the promise they are going to be buying today
is going to be delivered in the future because the company
Mack took the reins of GHL Group CEO in 2009, steering
the company out of the global economic downturn, the Clico
debacle and the introduction of new industry legislation.
Though he will be retiring by December 31, 2013, Mack will
stay on at GHL as a non-executive director. He is not ruling
out appointments on other local boards.
"In my mind going forward, I would probably be interested
in taking up another board assignment or two. I am just going
to play that one by air and see what the future brings for me."
"I will continue to help Ravi Tewarie (his successor) transition
into the new CEO world and, of course, I will continue to
serve the group on a consulting basis."
Elaborating, Mack said he would be "providing oversight
through his non-executive role."
Retirement for Mack means re-connecting with family
members - he has five children - having worked for 15 years
outside of the United States.
Reflecting on the first quarter of 2009 at the time of the
Clico and CL Financial bailout, Mack said GHL had to go into
a "crisis communication mode" because of what was happening
in GHL s external environment, and, by extension, the insurance
"There were rumours going around - Is GHL next? What
is happening with GHL? Mr (Arthur) Lok Jack (chairman) and
I - I remember spending a week together, just formulating
our communication, we had to get the message out there that
GHL was much different than Clico."
Delisting from the Jamaica Stock Exchange
Commenting on GHL s decision to delist from the Jamaica
Stock Exchange, Mack said that was being contemplated for
"We looked at our dual listing. When we started in Jamaica
as a company in 2000, the hope was that the amount of our
local ownership in Jamaica and the amount of trade in our
shares would kind of match the growth of our business. We
have been extremely patient to try to see that development
happen, but after 13 years, it didn t reach that level of ownership
or the amount of trades."
"About 1.5 per cent of the overall trade in GHL stock is done
in Jamaica; 98.5 per cent is done here locally. When you simply
look at the cost benefits of having a listing in Jamaica with
what we were getting out of it as a benefit, it was kind of an
easy decision, frankly. We can save some money. We don t
need the listing. We are not getting the amount of trading up
there. The local Jamaican investors, if they want to continue
to trade in GHL, they can do so on the local exchange here
(in T&T). We didn t feel we were disadvantaging the local
Jamaican investors. It was one of those dollar-and-cents-type
decisions," he said.
Asked about the cost to GHL of delisting, Mack said: "I d
rather not reveal that. I don t want to get into those details."
Asked whether GHL s Jamaica customer base would suffer
as a result of the delisting, he said: "Whether or not you are
listed doesn t have anything to do with how we are servicing
our customers. The investors can still continue to trade in
GHL stocks. We are very pleased with how our business is
going in Jamaica."
Reflecting on his five-year tenure as Group CEO, Mack said
everyday was an opportunity to learn, whether it was about
the industry or the nationals of T&T. What he s most proud
of is "leaving the company in a better shape than in what I
found it. I think I helped develop our next CEO Ravi Tewarie.
We ve worked closely. I made a strong recommendation to
the board that he should be our next CEO."
Referring to Tewarie "as a home-grown product," Mack
said he has been with the group for almost 15 years.
"I have been here for five years. My predecessor was a for-
eigner here almost two years. For the last seven years, GHL
had a foreigner leading the organisation. I find it fantastic we
were able to reach within our own organisation and get a local
that could step up and take this job and lead one of the
country s best organisations. It s great for the country, it s
great for the region."
Outgoing Group CEO Jeffrey Mack:
I'm leaving GHL in a better position
According to the Insurance Bill, 2013's
"The purpose of the Insurance Bill, 2013 is to provide a
new regulatory framework for the insurance industry and
to continue to provide for the regulation of privately-
administered pension fund plans and to repeal the
existing Insurance Act, Chap. 84:01.
The Bill contains 12 parts and 294 clauses.
Clause 1 would set out the short title of the Bill.
Clause 2 would provide for the application of the Act to
all persons who, whether or not resident in T&T, carry on
business of either insurance or pension funds, in or from
Clause 3 would provide for the Act to have effect even
though it is inconsistent with Sections 4 and 5 of the
Responsibilities of the non-executive director.
"As the Group chief executive, you're an executive, so I
am responsible for the day-to-day management of the
organisation. Basically, responsible for taking the
strategy then present it to the board and then making
sure that it is implemented perfectly. A chief executive
role is very much an operational-type role."
"Non-executive director on the board level is one of
oversight and supervision and delegation, in a sense. The
board delegates to the executives the responsibility in
carrying out its strategy. It's a much different thing.
Instead of spending 12 to 14 hours (of work) as I do
today, the amount of time required to provide that type
of oversight and guidance is much less."
Outgoing GHL Group CEO Jeffrey Mack.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Links Archive December 18th 2013 December 20th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page