AIC Financial Group has said a major corporate shakeup
of its operations in T&T is beginning to bear fruit.
have been profitable, year-to-date, said AIC director
Robert Almeda, who is managing the T&T end of the
business from AICs headquarters in Burlington, Canada,
until the group can recruit a new chief executive officer
to head up the Trinidad operation.
However, Almeda declined to specify the extent of the
He made the comment in response to a report in last weekends
Sunday Express which portrayed the companys entry
into the local market as a series of corporate mis-steps,
characterised by mounting losses, regulatory infringements,
corporate infighting and an exodus of managers.
While the group readily admitted that it has had a difficult
time establishing itself in the T&T market, it rejected
the portrayal of its three years in Trinidad as a chaotic
And the group said it engineered the departure of several
top managers as part of efforts to streamline the local
business and save money.
The report claimed that the AIC Trinidad business had
lost over $120 million since its commencement and that
Lee Chin had used his 70 per cent shareholding in NCBJ
as collateral for his borrowings.
Almeda put the Trinidad losses at about $100 million,
and argued that rather than floundering, AIC is on a firm
and strategic path to recovery.
reorganised to focus on sales growth, he said. Trinidad
is a large market and has potential.
According to a report in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper
yesterday, Michael Lee Chin had recognised that his Port-of-Spain
business was in need of an overhaul to stem the losses.
The paper said Lee Chin hired Aubyn Hill, who served for
two years as chief executive officer of NCBJ but departed
after quarrels with a string of managers, to turn-around
things in Trinidad.
Hill said, I looked at the expertise and their results
and made my recommendations. He added, The
board acted in the direction of the recommendation given.
Almeda said the company is engaged in elimination
of management layers and the creation of an institutional
and retail sales division to drive businessa primary
target being the corporate market.