The Bank of Saint Lucia [BOSL] is being touted as the first indigenous financial institution in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to implement a global investment fund mechanism.
At a reception, on Wednesday, BOSL’s management and staff along with featured high-profile guest speakers, unveiled the BOSL Global Investment Fund initiative to a host of government officials, technocrats and people from the corporate sector.
With a high energy promotion package at stake, the targeted audience were informed of the exciting opportunities they had to ‘buying into’ this enterprise and for an opportunity to garner wealth creation and financial security.
BOSL’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Everistus Jn. Marie was all about business as he addressed the gathering to deliver a comprehensive review of the institute’s stewardship and financial status over the past year. He noted that BOSL has grown into a $3Billion financial institution.
“As Saint Lucia’s premier financial institution, we are deeply committed to the empowerment and financial wellbeing of our customers, current and future, and by extension the economic prosperity of our nation,” declared Jn. Marie.
“The BOSL Investment Fund represents a significant shift in the bank’s offerings of investment opportunities for Saint Lucian and Caribbean investors,” he added.
Jn Marie noted that BOSL is guided by its commitment to “vision, leadership, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.”
The BOSL chairman said this $3billion institution, now stands “as the vanguard of innovative investment solutions.”
Added Jn. Marie: “The BOSL Global Investment Mutual Fund will provide a diverse portfolio of investment instruments, which will be managed by well-respected investment professionals.
“The fund will exist independent of the bank and will be under the direction of an independent board of directors. This fund was meticulously designed to satisfy three specialized investment options; long-term growth, income preservation and balanced returns.”
While noting the magnitude of this undertaking, he said, the investment fund was formatted to meet “the financial needs and aspirations” of customers locally and regionally.
“It’s about providing our customers with the tools, knowledge and opportunities to empower themselves and to take control of their financial wellbeing.”
In the wider context, he said, the initiative also seeks “to enhance the financial education among citizens and to develop a culture of responsible investing.”
Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank [ECCB] Timothy Antoine chipped in via video conference call to offer guidance and instructions on this unique development.
He noted that BOSL is the second largest financial institution in the ECCU “with assets in excess of $3billion.”
Underlining his presentation, based on three key factors, Antoine said: “The launch of the BOSL Global Investment Fund is a boost for big-push challenge, secondly, wealth creation is an important pathway for creating prosperity and building resilience and thirdly, improving financial literacy is imperative and very chancy.”
He called for more investments in the ECCU, while stating that BOSL’s investment fund aligns with the ECCB’s mantra towards: financial inclusion and wealth creation.
Antoine noted that the mutual fund will provide customers access to regional and international financial markets.
He explained that customers can chime in with a minimum investment of USD200 equivalent to EC$540, after which the customer may invest any amount.
Said Antoine: “The launch of this mutual fund leverages the strong savings culture in our region and offers accessible and affordable way for our people to become financial investors.”
BOSL Director Christopher Lovard stated that the mutual fund is an important step towards financial empowerment and economic resilience. He said the product was tailored to meet the “diverse needs and aspirations of investors in Saint Lucia and across the OECS”.
Lovard added, “With directors emanating from across the OECS, the Global Investment Fund is an embodiment of the principle that we are one people dedicated to pursuing the principle of unity, cooperation, and a pursuit of the single financial space envisioned in the revised Treaty of Basseterre.”
He continued, “It is not just a new financial blurb, but a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. It presents an opportunity for individuals and businesses to pool their resources and invest in a diverse range of assets.”
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre described the undertaking as a “milestone” achievement highlighting the bank’s commitment to “financial innovation and demonstrates Bank of Saint Lucia’s responsiveness to the urgent need for diversified and profitable investment options for our synergy.”
Recalling the formation of BOSL, in 2001, through a merger of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) and the St Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), he said, it was envisioned that BOSL “would grow to become a catalyst and innovator within the domestic and regional financial services sector.”
The prime minister stated that the launch of BOSL’s mutual fund is timely, and “adds value to our local financial economy.”