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IFC, IFC ALAC Fund Investment in Guardian Holdings Limited Expands Access to Insurance in the Caribbean


In Washington, D.C.:
Julie Ziegler

Phone: +1 (202) 473 0128

E-mail:
JZiegler1@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez
Phone: +1 (202) 458-5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., August 24, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean (ALAC) Fund are providing $75 million in equity to help Trinidad and Tobago-based Guardian Holdings Limited expand its operations and develop  the insurance sector in the Caribbean.

The investment includes $56.25 million for IFC’s account and $18.75 million from the IFC ALAC Fund, which is managed by IFC Asset Management Company. The additional support for this existing IFC client will enable new opportunities for growth, acquisition, and consolidation in a region where few businesses and individuals have insurance policies and where some banks and insurance companies have struggled in the wake of the financial crisis.
 
“This investment will give us the financial flexibility to support our growth strategies while improving our overall cash flow position and creating value for all our shareholders,” said Jeffrey Mack, Guardian Group CEO. “It represents the continuation of our strong relationship with IFC.”


The transaction is part of IFC’s strategy to expand its investment activities in the insurance sector, with the goal of increasing availability of insurance products that address individual needs, such as health insurance, and access to insurance products for smaller businesses, microfinance institutions, and agribusinesses. The effort involves partnering with global and regional insurance companies that are focused on expanding in emerging markets.


James Scriven, IFC Director of Financial Markets, said, “This investment aligns with our priorities for the region by deepening the financial sector and improving access to services for segments not currently served by insurance companies, while strengthening our partnership with a strong local player, helping it grow and expand into new markets.”
 
Sujoy Bose, Head of IFC ALAC Fund, added, “IFC ALAC Fund is pleased to partner with Guardian Holdings Limited, a leader in the Caribbean insurance sector, where market penetration is low compared to international standards.  This infusion of capital will allow the company to expand its insurance services in this underserved market.”


About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About IFC Asset Management Company

IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third-party capital, enabling outside investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. It manages the $3 billion IFC Capitalization Fund as well as the IFC ALAC Fund.


For more information about GHL, visit www.guardianholdings.com.