FIRST Citizens Investment Services Ltd. made a big move last Sunday, relocating from their Brazil Street office to the John Compton Highway. Nevertheless, company officials say the company is here to stay.
Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy and deputy Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre joined in cutting the ribbon on the front door of the recently-refurbished building at Sans Soucis now housing the company’s offices.
Last July, the company celebrated its tenth year of business in Saint Lucia. The relocation, said Carole Eleuthere-Jn. Marie, Regional Manager (Eastern Caribbean and Barbados), “had added an extra touch” to the company’s milestone. Aside from the relocation, she said the company was pleased to have served its customers over the past decade.
“We are especially proud of how we have been able to educate and contribute to a more investment-savvy public and attract investors from all walks of life,” Eleuthere-Jn. Marie said at Sunday’s opening ceremony. “We are dedicated to raising the level of financial literacy because we know that knowledge and understanding of financial matters benefit us all.”
Also speaking at the official opening was First Citizens Group CEO, Karen Darbasie, who said that by acquiring the new property, the company can now improve its customer service by having its own home.
“Today, still in the midst of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we have stepped out of our comfort zone, bringing our brand to a new location (and) trusting that this will benefit all of our stakeholders: our clients and our hardworking staff in a very significant way,” Darbasie explained.
She added that while First Citizens strives to become the most competitive financial services group in the markets it serves, the confidence of its client base is continuously boosted by its financial performance and the number of related accolades. The company, she said, remains on a path of growth.
“Profit after taxes for the nine-month period ending June 2015 was TT$482.5 million, an increase of approximately 1% compared to the same period last year,” Darbasie said. “The total assets for that same period amounted to TT$36.6 billion, which was a growth of 5.1% over the previous year.”
Pierre also gave brief remarks at the opening, saying that First Citizens latest move proves its confidence in the marketplace, particularly locally. He said the financial institution’s most meaningful impact in the region lies in helping nurture the development of the regional securities market through its active involvement in the bonds and treasury bills market, from which Saint Lucia has been a beneficiary.
“Saint Lucia has benefitted tremendously from the involvement of First Citizens in the regional market as the bank holds in excess of $250 million in domestic bonds and treasury bills for the government of Saint Lucia. Regionally, the bank holds approximately $1 billion in government debt instruments,” Pierre explained.
The company began trading here as the Caribbean Money Market Brokers Limited (CMMB) before being acquired by the First Citizens Group of Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. The First Citizens Group later rebranded to First Citizens Investment Services Ltd. and has offices in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia. The financial group is billed as the Caribbean’s largest full service securities trading company
First Citizens’ Saint Lucia office has won the Award for Service Excellence at the St. Lucia Business Awards for the past two years.