The official launch of the agency office of The Insurance Company of the West Indies in St. Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday, 18th March (ICWI) drew such luminaries as Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas to the event. The featured speaker, Dr. Douglas praised ICWI for compiling a sound record of excellence in the region and congratulated the head of the new agency office, Michael Martin, the Managing Director of Caribbean Financial Associates Inc. The Prime Minister noted the vital role that the insurance sector plays in the Federation’s economic development By providing quality career paths and helping to uplift residents’ quality of life through the range of services offered. He also remarked on the positive strides that St. Kitts and Nevis has been taking in developing the legislative and regulatory frameworks to ensure the integrity of the financial sector. “In today’s challenging financial environment, nothing is more important than the delivery of services in the most ethical manner,” said the Prime Minister. Such a delivery was deemed to be key in possessing the ability to compete globally. “Clearly the world is changing,” said Dr. Douglas. “Survival depends on implementing new strategies in which the private and public sectors must work together.” He assured listeners that his government took very seriously the challenges of the times, and urged the financial services sector not to see itself as apart from the overall process of national growth and development. ICWI President Paul Lalor was on hand to celebrate the opening of the new agency office. He offered plaudits to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for the steps taken to advance the country’s economy, particularly singling out the encouragement of tourism and the attraction of foreign capital. Answering the question he posed as to why St. Kitts and Nevis was chosen as the newest agency office, Lalor pointed to Michael Martin’s professionalism and experience in the insurance industry as one of the key factors that made the Federation such a phenomenal opportunity. Moreen Marks, ICWI Vice president of Insurance Operations, took attendees through the history and accomplishments of the organization, from becoming the first fully owned insurance company in Jamaica to having branches in 6 territories in the region. Addressing the issue of how the organization was faring in the current global economic downturn, Marks asserted, “We are not only standing, we are flourishing.” The ICWI Group operates subsidiaries in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. Motor and property insurance is issued through an agency or branch operation in St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Maarten. The group previously had a presence in Trinidad & Tobago through financial interests in Tatil and TrinRe. Michael M. Martin, MICA, Cert. CII, has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector and has served in senior management positions in a number of companies, including National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited and Sagicor Life Inc. He is a past director of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean. Caribbean Financial Associates was incorporated in St. Kitts on 20th February 2007.
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