Financial Sector

The ICD businesses were concentrated in manufacturing and distribution and apart from a small hire purchase company affiliated with Homelectrix, an appliance retailer with a number of branches across the island, ICD had no hand in the financial services industry. A joint venture between the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited (BNSJ) and ICD saw the creation of Industrial Finance Limited (IFL) using HAFC as the base and expanding the new IFL into vehicle and equipment leasing along with insurance premium financing.

Further opportunities to expand its foothold in financial services arose with the acquisition of British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited (BCIC) when the owners, Eagle Star, opted to sell the company in the late 1980s.

Realising that the financial services industry was rife with opportunities, in 1988 ICD Group established Sigma Investment Management Limited as a security dealership. Always on the cutting edge of innovation, Sigma was the first company with one single unit trust comprising of three (3) portfolios. The company was housed at 33 Harbour Street adding to the impressive row of renovated buildings owned by ICD along the eastern end of Harbour Street.

Prime Life Assurance Company was conceptualised and launched in 1994. The substantial real estate holdings of the ICD Group were pooled to capitalise the new company. The emphasis on innovation continued at Prime Life as agents were outfitted with laptops enabling them to provide prospective clients with quotes in real time. The operating system produced policies that were printed within 24 hours of the approval of the application. The company also dispatched paramedic nurses to carry out the required health tests for Life Insurance Policies. Within a few years the insurance industry followed the lead of Prime and agents across the industry use laptop computers as standard practice along with state of the art software in their back office operations.