With a new tagline, “Live Financially Well,” on March 01, the only full service insurance provider on the island, NEWIM Life & General Assurance Co. Ltd., commenced operations under a new name, the “Antillean Group” (Antillean Life & Antillean General).
The Antillean Group’s Executive Chairman, Kennie John said the re-branding signals the company’s commitment to continued leadership in the insurance industry and to providing customers with a financially secured life.
He said the 23 year-old Newim’s new name and colourful logo, “embraces the Caribbean region and aligns the company to its geographic location, while providing an identity that is reflective of the culture of its people”.
“We are in that part of the Caribbean that was historically known as the Antilles and therefore, the people of the Antilles are Antilleans, hence the name Antilleans,” John told reporters during a brief ceremony last week Wednesday, at the company’s Chester House location on Young Street in St. George’s.
As part of the company’s geographical growth initiative, John said plans are in the making towards “extending operations to other islands within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
“That way, there is an identity…we are Antilleans, our heritage, our ethnicity – most of us we have heritage from Africa, Europe (and) Asia and one thing that is common in the Caribbean is that of our culture,” he remarked.
“We have enhanced our business infrastructure to improve our capabilities. The re-branding and restructuring represents an EC$18M investment by shareholders of NEWIM. Our new corporate structure will include a Group Operation and ultimately two independently capitalised managed and licensed subsidiaries,” he said.
John expressed satisfaction with the work done over the past 20 plus years with the people of Grenada by employees and referred to them as “an inspiration”.
“What we hope would transpire in the next few years, is that of increased customer enhancement in terms of our product delivery, operations and to make Grenada proud,” he said.
John disclosed that the ‘Antillean’ has “in excess of over 4,000 clients,” and expressed the view that the insurance “industry is safer today,” than in previous years.
In distinguishing exactly what makes ‘Antillean’ different from other existing insurance providers, John noted that the company is a full service insurance provider, while “most providers either provide life insurance or general insurance”.
“Normally, you (insurance providers), are either a life company or a general company. Most companies that operate in Grenada are like that.
We are the first and only locally-owned life insurance Company…and we hope to improve that consumer experience,” he said.
The insurance executive believes that there is need for “new regulations in the Eastern Caribbean, making the region one market…just as we have one Central Bank” to serve the insurance industry.
According to John, the putting in place of new regulations for non-banking financial institutions will provide for “a more secure environment for people who purchase insurance”.
He said: “As financial institutions, we are aware that our social responsibility is as important as the strength of our balance sheet.
We have created a Group which understands the business of business, with a modern corporate structure and a creative intellect, which places high emphasis on corporate governance, regulatory compliance, financial competence, community responsibility and most importantly, customer experience”.
Sharing in the historic event were clients of NEWIM, international re-insurers and brokers who gave support for the rebranding of the insurance company.
NEWIM was founded in November 1994, by the late Chester John, who was a well-known and respected Life Insurance guru and a Life Member of the International Insurance Million Dollar Round Table, (MDRT).
Originally a general insurance company, trading under the name New West Indian Mutual & General Assurance Company Ltd, in 2007 it acquired a life insurance license and the name changed to NEWIM Life & General.
John also told reporters, “essentially, what we have done is keep the companies apart, which is NEWIM Life & General. We now have 3 companies; we now have a group operation, which manages the operations of our Life Company and our General Company”.