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Caribbean firm to buy controlling interest in Clarien Bank

Mark Myers, chairman, Cornerstone Financial Holdings Ltd (File photograph)

A Caribbean-based financial firm has acquired a controlling interest in Clarien Group Limited, it was announced yesterday.

In a statement, Clarien Bank said that pending regulatory approvals, Cornerstone Financial Holdings Ltd would make the investment in CGL.

Existing CGL shareholders NCB Financial Group Ltd and Edmund Gibbons Ltd will continue to remain shareholders.

Ian Truran, Clarien Bank’s chief executive, said that Cornerstone's investment was a “testament to the shared values of both organisations”.

“The culture of Cornerstone aligns perfectly with Clarien,” he said.

“This proposed transaction provides an opportunity for us to continue to deliver exceptional value to clients and stakeholders by offering the highest levels of service, enhanced products and innovative solutions.”

Mr Truran said Cornerstone’s proven success in various portfolio companies reassured the CGL shareholders, the bank’s board of directors and team of “their capability and credibility in driving the bank’s growth and success”.

The Cornerstone Group

The Gleaner in Jamaica reported in April last year that the Cornerstone Group had only recently received the green light from the central bank to reorganise into, and seek a licence as, a financial holding company.

The paper said Cornerstone has valued itself just shy of $1 billion, which would place it in the top tier of Jamaica’s financial conglomerates based on book value.

The report commented: “But the valuation of $920 million, as recorded in Cornerstone’s financial statement up to September 2022, does not include MJR Real Estate Holdings Ltd, which is held off balance sheet and was one of two companies the Bank of Jamaica told Cornerstone United Holdings Jamaica Ltd, CUHJL, it has to bring on to the books for its financial holding company application to advance.

“With Clarien’s ongoing financial stability, strong capital and liquidity ratios, as well as robust financial results in the last financial year, we are confident in our ability to provide reliable and value-creating financial services to new and existing clients,” Mr Truran added.

“Our client accounts, deposits, and all the services they currently enjoy with us will remain unaffected,” he said.

“On behalf of the executive team at Clarien, I wish to thank all stakeholders for their continued support throughout this process,” Mr Truran added.

“We also wish to thank our clients for their continued trust and partnership as we embark on this exciting new chapter together.

“We are excited about the prospects that Cornerstone’s pending controlling interest of CGL brings to the bank and look forward to delivering innovative financial solutions and exceptional service today, tomorrow and for years to come.”

Michael Lee-Chin, chairman of NCBFG and James Gibbons, director of EGL, said the change would allow Clarien to “leverage Cornerstone’s established network and customer base for stakeholder value”.

Mark Myers, chairman of Cornerstone, said: “We are truly excited about the tremendous opportunities this strategic partnership brings.

“This move, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, will provide Cornerstone with expanded market opportunities and strengthen our capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the dynamic banking and wealth management landscape.

“By merging Clarien’s strengths and Cornerstone’s management expertise, we are forging a powerful synergy that promises unparalleled benefits to customers, staff, and stakeholders.”

• To read Clarien’s statement in full, see Related Media

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Published June 14, 2024 at 8:04 am (Updated June 15, 2024 at 8:14 am)

Caribbean firm to buy controlling interest in Clarien Bank

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