14 June 2024News

Jamaican investment house to buy controlling stake in Clarien Bank

A Jamaican investment company has bought a controlling interest in Bermuda bank Clarien, the bank said yesterday. 

Cornerstone Financial Holdings will hold 70% of the shares in the bank, pending regulatory approvals. Existing shareholders NCB Financial Group and Edmund Gibbons Ltd will remain shareholders alongside Cornerstone, the bank said. 

NCB Financial, which held a 50.1% controlling stake in the bank, said it was selling 30.2 percent of that stake to Cornerstone while retaining 19.9% of the bank's shares. EGL, which also owns CG Insurance group and numerous other Bermuda businesses including Gibbons company, did not disclose what shares it was selling, but NCB said Cornerstone would have a 50.1% stake in the business. 

The value of the sale has not been disclosed.

Clarien said: "This transaction will further strengthen Clarien’s global market position and reflects Cornerstone's confidence in Clarien's vision and business priorities."

Cornerstone is a leading financial institution in Jamaica, with two key holdings in an investment company, Barita, and Cornerstone Trust and Merchant Bank, both of which it has bought since 2017. It received permission last year to 

Its purchase of Barita, which was founded by a well known Jamaican investor, has been embroiled in legal controversy. The company has grown rapidly under Cornerstone's leadership.   

Ian Truran, CEO of Clarien Bank, said Cornerstone's investment is a testament to the shared values of both organisations. “The culture of Cornerstone aligns perfectly with Clarien,” said Mr. Truran. “This proposed transaction provides an opportunity for us to continue to deliver exceptional value to clients and stakeholders by offering the highest

levels of service, enhanced products, and innovative solutions.”

Truran said Cornerstone’s proven success in various portfolio companies reassured the CGL Shareholders, the Bank’s Board of Directors and team. 

“With Clarien's ongoing financial stability, strong capital and liquidity ratios, as well as robust financial results in the last financial year, we are confident in our ability to provide reliable and value-creating financial services to new and existing clients,” Truran added. “Our client accounts, deposits, and all the services they currently enjoy with us will remain unaffected."

Michael Lee-Chin, chairman of NCBFG and James Gibbons, director of EGL, highlighted their satisfaction with the proposed Sale Purchase to Cornerstone; noting that the change

will allow Clarien to leverage Cornerstone’s established network and customer base for stakeholder value. In addition, it will provide Cornerstone with the opportunity to

collaborate with an established bank in Bermuda – one of the world's leading financial centres.

Mark Myers, chairman of Cornerstone said: “We are truly excited about the tremendous opportunities this strategic partnership brings. This move, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, will provide Cornerstone with expanded market opportunities and strengthen our capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the dynamic banking and wealth management landscape. By merging Clarien’s strengths and Cornerstone’s management expertise, we are forging a powerful synergy that promises unparalleled benefits to customers, staff, and stakeholders.”

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