Never Mind The Election, Jamaica’s Newest Insurance Company Launches IPO

It may be their confidence in the economy, the wonderful performance of the stock market, the already secured commitments from customers to invest, or the pressure to meet the deadline to get the tax-free exemption – or a combination of all of them – but consider it a rather bold and unusual move for IronRock Insurance company, an unknown startup company to issue their prospectus 2 days before a general election.

This post provides a summary of their prospectus as they attempt to raise funds and list on the Junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Who Is IronRock Insurance?

IronRock Insurance is a newly registered general insurance company. It is the first new insurer in the local market for many years (that is not a subsidiary or branch of a foreign insurance company).

The Company aims to provide a streamlined and competitively priced general insurance service that the Directors consider is not currently available in the local marketplace.

MoneyMax Comment: IronRock is entering an industry with a number of well established players. General insurance providers in Jamaica include

  • Advantage General,
  • JN General Insurance Company Ltd (JNGI affiliated with Jamaica National Building Society),
  • Guardian General Insurance,
  • General Accident,
  • GK General (GraceKennedy),
  • Insurance Co Of The West Indies Limited (ICWI), and
  • British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited (BCIC), affiliated with Victoria Mutual Building Society

The Company was launched in order to provide Jamaican consumers with a more efficient general insurance service, which leverages the benefits of up-to-date information technology in order to automate and streamline many of the processes that are typically associated with general insurance.

MoneyMax Comment: They speak a lot about automation, and the use of technology as something that will help to make them different. I have not however seen much specifics of that.

The Company’s Directors consider that it has an innovative business model, with the following features :

  • A lean organizational structure, comprising staff that have knowledge and experience of the industry
  • A full suite of general insurance products (motor, property, engineering, accident, marine (hull / cargo) that can be customized
  • Convenient and accessible automated services
  • I.T. solutions to simplify the processes associated with insurance operations

About IronRock

ironrocklogoIronRock Insurance Company Limited (the company) was incorporated on June 9, 2015 and is domiciled in Jamaica, with its registered office at 85 Hope Road, Kingston 6. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Granite Group Limited (more about Granite below), a company incorporated and domiciled in St. Lucia.

As of November 26, 2015, the company is registered under the Insurance Act 2001. The principal activity of the company will be the underwriting of general insurance business.

The Listing

  • The Company is now seeking to raise approximately $315m by inviting Applications for up to 105,000,000 Shares in the Invitation at $3 per share.
  • 11,914 ,000 Shares are available for subscription by the general public
  • Up to 93,086, 000 Shares in the Invitation are Reserved Shares that are initially reserved for priority applicants
  • This values the company at $642m.
  • The Invitation will open at 9:00 a.m. on the Opening Date, Tuesday 1 March 2016 and close at 4: 00 p.m. on Friday 11 March 2016

MoneyMax Comment: General accident the only other similar listed company has a market capitalization of $2.2b as at Feb 23, 2016. It is also interesting that on Feb 24th Chris Berry, Executive Chairman of Mayberry, lead broker for the listing tweeted that General Accident is undervalued.


Current Performance

The company is a start-up and only began business in January 2016 as such their financials will reflect that.

  • As at Nov, 30 2015, the company’s Balance Sheet / Statement of Financial position reflected
    • $96.4m in Assets and this comprised mainly short term investments ($89.9m)
    • Liabilities of $1.2m primarily due to accounts payables ($1.0m)
    • Which left the company with net current assets of $95.2m
  • On the profit and loss, their only expense for 2015 was administrative expenses totaling $6.5m, however they were able to offset that with some foreign exchange gains ($2.5m) to end with a net loss of -$3.7m.


The company is projecting

  • Revenue of $774.2m by 2018 and $1.6b by 2020
  • Net profit projections of $60.1m by 2018 and $236.8m by 2020
  • To capture at least 3.5% of the local market for general insurance within 5 years (by end of financial year 2020)

MoneyMax Comment: One competitor, General Accident with a 15% market share and 78 employees was able to write $5.1b in gross premiums and generate $320m in Net profit for 2014.

Capital and Controlling Shareholders

  • As at the date of the prospectus 109 million shares (50.94%) were issued to a Granite Group controlled by 2 of the Founders, being Evan Thwaites and the Hon. William McConnell.
  • Granite Group has also provided the Company with capital in the sum of US$1.150 million in order to defray its start up expenses and also to provide it with capital resources for the purposes of underwriting, pending the Invitation.


Board of Directors

  1. THE HON. WILLIAM A. Mc CONNELL, O.J., C.D., J.P., F.C.A., HON. LL.D., CHAIRMAN – Formerly Chairman of Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Limited until his retirement in 2011
  2. R. EVAN D. THWAITES, MANAGING DIRECTOR – He spent over 30 years with Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Ltd. (and its predecessor entity, Globe Insurance Company of the West Indies Ltd.), prior to its acquisition by Guardian Group, where he was Managing Director.
  3. WAYNE N.T. HARDIE, FINANCE DIRECTOR – He spent nearly 30 years with Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Ltd. (and its predecessor entity, Globe Insurance Company of the West Indies Ltd.), prior to its acquisition by Guardian Group , where he was Financial Controller.
  4. ANTHONY J. A. BELL, J.P., INDEPENDENT NON – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – He served as Managing Director of J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. and Chief Financial Officer of Lascelles de Mercado group of companies for over 30 years, retiring in 2011.
  5. MATTHEW A. HOGARTH, INDEPENDENT NON – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – An attorney at law, Mr. Hogarth is a founder and partner of the firm WH&CO. He specialises in corporate and commercial law, and employment and conveyancing.

MoneyMax Comment: The directors all have considerable years of experience and deep industry knowledge. It is also obvious that 4 of the 5 directors had previous longstanding relationships with Globe / Guardian group.

  • The non – executive independent Directors A. J. Bell and M.A. Hogarth receive fees of $1.5m per annum in the aggregate, for attending meetings in the current financial year.
  • The executive Directors Evan Thwaites and Wayne Hardie receive salaries of $12.5m in the aggregate for the current financial year.

Company Objectives

IronRock Insurance Company’s objectives are as follows:

  • To register as a new general insurer in Jamaica and to commence operations no later than January 2016 (these were achieved )
  • To become cash flow positive within one year (financial year 2016)
  • To establish an investment portfolio that provides dependable returns and to record an underwriting profit within 3 years (by end of financial year 2018)
  • To capture at least 3.5% of the local market for general insurance within 5 years (by end of financial year 2020)

Use of proceeds

The Board intends to use the proceeds of the Invitation in order to expand the capacity of the Company to underwrite general insurance business in accordance with its business plans and to pay for the listing.


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