GraceKennedy is local partner for T’dad unit trust company coming to Jamaica

THE Jamaica Observer can confirm that GraceKennedy (GK) is the local company that will partner with Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) out of Trinidad and Tobago on its entry into the fiercely competitive local unit trust and mutual funds market.

Late Thursday afternoon GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby gave subtle confirmation to the Observer‘s query on the partnership.

“GraceKennedy is always in dialogue with potential strategic partners, exploring opportunities inside and outside of Jamaica and across several industries. In most, if not all of these instances, we are subject to non-disclosure agreements which prevent us from making any pronouncements until the appropriate time. We are also guided by our legal and regulatory obligations, and follow a strict communication protocol which guides the timing and medium through which we make certain announcements,” he said.

“We have had a long and very mutual relationship with UTC. In line with those policies and obligations, where there are any new strategic partnerships or strategic initiatives, GraceKennedy will make the necessary announcements at the appropriate time,” Wehby added.

Informed Observer sources say GK and UTC have been having extensive discussions over the past few weeks about concretising their partnership arrangement.

UTC’s expansion into Jamaica will bring to 12 the number of investment houses offering unitised investments to the Jamaican public.

The partnership is being done through GraceKennedy Finance, which has long desired to enter that segment of the local financial market.

UTC, a long-time player in the unit trust and mutual funds market in the twin-island republic, has been eyeing the Jamaican market for years. The partnership is being seen as a win-win for both companies, given the solid financial backing and goodwill of GraceKennedy Group and UTC’s long-standing experience in the region’s unit trust and mutual funds business.

The new partnership will compete with Barita Unit Trust Management Company, Credit Union Fund Management Company, JMMB Fund Managers, Sagicor Investments Jamaica, Scotia Investments Jamaica, NCB Capital Markets, MoneyMasters, Stocks & Securities, Victoria Mutual Wealth Management, Proven Wealth Management, and JN Fund Managers.

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