Victoria Mutual Wealth Management Limited (VM Wealth), the investment arm of the Victoria Mutual (VM) Group, is urging small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of its free advisory services to retool and restructure their businesses for growth in the post-pandemic era.
Devon Barrett, Group Chief Investment Officer and Head of the Strategic Investment Unit, VM Group, said advisory services offered through VM Wealth and its parent company Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL) provide SMEs with a roadmap to success by critically analyzing their business plans and giving expert guidance on the way forward.
“Business owners need to take steps now to avoid a situation where they are unable to compete after the crisis ends, because they did not retool,” Barrett said, addressing a virtual audience at ‘VM Wealth Talk: 2021 Business Success Strategies’ webinar on Tuesday, February 16.
In addition to helping clients restructure their businesses, Barrett said VM Wealth can also help SMEs to access or raise necessary equity or debt capital.
“There is financial capital available in the marketplace waiting to be deployed, but you need to get your business organised. We will guide you. To restructure, you must have up-to-date financial statements and good corporate governance. We will look at your organisational structure, your support services, such as accounting, marketing and legal services. We will help you with this restructuring and then help you to raise the capital you need,” he explained.
Additionally, he noted that the commitment by VMIL to have capital available for SMEs in the productive sector is still available. At VMIL’s Initial Public Offering in 2017, $1 billion was committed for investment in the productive sector.
“Victoria Mutual has capital right now waiting to be deployed to entities that we think are ready to move to the next level,” Barrett said.
He further urged business owners to utilise opportunities available through the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market, which he described as being “under-utilised”. Companies that list on the Junior Market receive a full income tax break for the first five years after listing and a 50 per cent income tax break over the next five years.
“I encourage businesses to utilise this facility to raise capital as it will allow them to exploit opportunities made possible by the COVID-19 pandemic.” he said.
VM Wealth Talk – 2021 Business Success Strategies, hosted on the VM Group’s and VM Wealth social media pages, was the latest installment in the Wealth Talk series and featured a keynote presentation from Richard Pandohie, President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Group CEO, Seprod Group. The webinar also featured panelists Michelle Smith, CEO of Chocolate Dreams and Deane Shepherd, CEO of SNB Group, and sought to provide insights from successful leaders on navigating the business environment in 2021.
Rezworth Burchenson, CEO of VMIL and VM Wealth, said the Wealth Talk series forms part of the business’ financial education mandate and is particularly crucial given the current global economic context and the importance of businesses re-imagining their approach at this time.
“An attitude of resilience and determination [will be required] to emerge from this dark period better than before. Because much is at stake, we must reimagine our approach to the demands of the moment and capitalize on the opportunities while charting new paths,” he said.