By Ketricia Finch

St. Kitts Reporter

A new Clico service, Clico International General Insurance Ltd. is officially established in the Federation. Also, the doors of Clico’s new building at South Independence Square Street were opened to the public on Monday of this week. The ceremony to officially open the building and the launching of the new service took place last week Friday.

Leroy Parris, chairman of Clico Holdings Barbados Ltd., which includes services such as Clico International Life Insurance Ltd., Clico International General Insurance Ltd., Clico Mortgage and Finance Corporation, thanked the government of St. Kitts and Nevis for allowing them the opportunity to start the service in the Federation.

Parris said when they purchased the former Georgian House they were mindful of the rich history and culture associated with the beautiful building, and, foremost in their minds, was preserving the heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis during his welcoming remarks.

“Our business has been expanding steadily over the years and our goal is to ensure that our operations throughout the Eastern Caribbean are superior and second to none. Our insurance and financial advisors and staff are determined to ensure that in keeping with their new surroundings, they will continue to strive for excellence in their service delivery,” Parris said.

He added that the launching of the service is evidence of the company’s expansion in the Eastern Caribbean.

“Clico International General has been operating in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada and later this year, the company will be launching in Antigua and Dominica.”

Parris said Clico has a proven track record for providing a full range of general insurance services to meet the ever changing needs of the market and that their record of settling claims has been outstanding.

“We recognize that the customer is king and we must raise the bar by providing value, quality, reliability, good corporate governance, excellent products and service and efficiently managed operations,” Parris said.

Davis Browne, president of Clico International General Insurance Ltd. said the Clico Group of Companies is one of the largest and strongest indigenous groups within the English speaking Caribbean.

He said the name also speaks to the company’s international standing both in terms of strength and security and the fact that the company currently writes business across international borders.

“The name records our total commitment to our core business of general insurance and related services,” Browne said.

Browne said Clico International General Insurance Ltd., began insurance operations in September 1989 in Barbados, having acquired the Barbados portfolio of its ancestor, COLFIRE, which is based in Trinidad.

“The early 1990s heralded the first phase of our geographical expansion. In December 1990, we opened our first branch office in St. Lucia. In April 1992, we opened a branch office in Grenada and in July 1992 one in St. Vincent. Later, we established insurance agencies in Barbados and St. Lucia. From inception until now, we have concentrated our efforts mainly on building our southern Caribbean portfolio. During the journey, we have achieved gross written annual premiums of Bds $49.0M,” Browne said.

“It is our vision of becoming the truly international company that is represented in our name. We have therefore designed an aggressive expansion programme for the wider Caribbean region. We have also determined a strategy for business growth that will see increased by almost 100% in two to three years from now,” Browne ended.

Minister of Finance and Sustainable Development, Honourable Denzil Douglas, said Clico’s move to establish the building as its headquarters reflects on the company’s long history of growth and development in the region.

“From very humble beginnings to the multi-featured company that it is today, Clico has truly emerged as a true regional entity that is well known for the quality of service and variety of products provided to the people of the region. It is certainly one of the region’s top companies.

“With the emergence of the CSME, I am certain that Clico will take advantage of emerging economic environment to further upheld its growth and development.”

Minister Douglas said Clico’s service should be beneficial for the people of the Federation and applauded the efforts of Leroy Parris and Clico in general.

“The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is appreciative of the role that Clico has played in our country.”

The minister said when his government addressed the housing topic for St. Kitts Clico responded in a very positive way by providing additional choices and options to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“When my government announced that it was going to move the economy fully into the services sector, Clico again partnered with local entities and we heard them speaking of condos and villa development. I understand that the old housing scheme continues to evolve and I am sure that Kittitians and Nevisians are grateful as they now prepare to move into phase 2 of the little income home development market,” Minister Douglas said.

“Clico has continue to demonstrate that it is an outstanding corporate citizen and the nation applauds and expresses its appreciation to Clico’s keen interest through various events and programs sponsorship.

“Clico continues improvement of its services and products and can only be described as being progressive and advantageous to its customers and clients.”

Minister Douglas said there is the need for the corporate community in the region to develop and take advantage of the Caricom Single Market.

“It is important that companies engage themselves in the philosophy of effective regionalism and that company’s incorporations explore our on a continuing basis, the immerging economic environment of the Caribbean region.”

Minister Douglas said over the next 5-10 years, the region enters a period that will be at once challenging and exciting. He said it is everyone in society’s responsibility to be creative and productive for the near future.

Verona Micheal, Branch Administration Manager of Clico International Life Insurance Ltd. and Clico International General Insurance Ltd. thanked all those responsible for the establishment of the new service, Clico International General Insurance Ltd. and the opening of the new Clico Building.

After the ceremony, the Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Cuthbert Sebastian and Minister Douglas cut the ribbon, unveiled the plaque and made a toast to Clico’s new headquarters at the official opening of the building. After that, everyone who attended the ceremony toured the building.