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Ravi Rambarran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Life Inc.

Sagicor staying put

Sagicor has no intention at this time of closing any of its branches
or retrenching workers.

That assurance came yesterday from Ravi Rambarran, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Sagicor Life Inc.

During a virtual press briefing to provide an update on the company’s
performance for the first quarter of this year and projections for the
remainder of the year, he said that the company has kept the promise
made to staff in the initial stages of the impact of the covid-19
pandemic, that there would be no change for the first three months.

“...And we have honoured that promise. Now subsequently, we are
looking at how we reconfigure in those areas where business may have
fallen off. But let me make something very clear, we have no intention
of closing down branches, we have no intention of any wholesale or
material changes in our staff, because the messaging we have given is
this, and it is a very simple one that we believe in – any material
adverse changes would be a shared one, it would be a shared sacrifice,
it would be a shared burden. But certainly that’s the principle we
have operated, and we will operate as we monitor the situation. But
absolutely not – no material retrenchment, no material changes in our
branch network etc. – absolutely not,” he maintained.

His comments came as he said that within a week of the pandemic making
itself felt in the region, 100 per cent of the Sagicor employees were
allowed to work from home, and as the countries have gradually
reopened, so too have their offices. But, he pointed out, such
reopenings have been under “very strict health and safety protocols”.
He added that as part of that effort, only frontline or client-facing
staff are physically at work.

Meanwhile, asked about the financial impact of the pandemic on their
clients’ ability to meet their various commitments, Rambarran
disclosed that less than 50 per cent have actually taken up the offer
of the moratorium, adding that the company still stands ready to work
with any client who is unable to meet their commitments.

“Once there is a willingness on the part of our clients to work with
us, we will work with them... Certainly the principle that we have
been operating to date and will continue to operate is – we will work
with you, simply because it is far easier to have and maintain an
existing client, than to lose that client and reengage them later on,
particularly in the context where our region remains underinsured and
under pensioned,” he said.

Rambarran added, “It should only be an absolutely last resort that
someone should not have their insurance policy or their mortgage
policy or their health policy, because these are times when they need
it more than ever. So we are making that extra effort to work with our

The President and CEO made the remarks while adding that though he
foresees some reduction in sales, it is early days yet to get a true
sense of what will happen going forward.

“But at the same time there is still a large pool of people who can
pay that we have not engaged and who are not covered, that we have not
engaged. It is a combination of two forces – one negative and one
positive - and we remain optimistic that we will find a way. As I
said, we have quite a range of solutions to fit many pockets and we
believe now is the time to be covered, rather than be uncovered,” he
insisted. (JRT)

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