Media Release – UTC Global Balanced Fund Limited Launched in St. Lucia

In an Eastern Caribbean first, UTC launches Global Balanced Fund in St. Lucia

18th May 2023 – It was a momentous occasion and a fitting celebration in Castries for the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC), as it strengthened its regional expansion footprint, bringing its investment management expertise to the wider Caribbean.

The launch of the UTC Global Balanced Fund Limited (GBFL), at Harbor Club St. Lucia, Curio Collection by Hilton, introduces the first retail Collective Investment Scheme that will be available to investors across the entire Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Director of Finance, Treasury Department, Imran Williams delivered remarks to the breakfast gathering on behalf of the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honourable Phillip J. Pierre, and lauded the dedication and vision of the UTC in its efforts to promote widespread participation in financial markets on a regional scale, saying, “It therefore gives me great pleasure when opportunities like this collective investment scheme provide everyday citizens with access to wealth creation. This means that in addition to investing in traditional government bonds and treasury bills, promissory notes, etc., the product allows individuals to diversify their investment portfolio whilst gaining returns that can supplement their income.”

Mr. Williams also observed that “this speaks to equity, diversity, and inclusion – equity for people from all walks of life, diversity of people from all income categories, and inclusion of people who would otherwise have been crowded out by high upfront costs and minimum investments.”

Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) echoed this sentiment, commenting that “the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union can only make sense and be successful if it creates that space for increasing financial inclusion, if it provides options and opportunities for citizens of the Union to save and invest, and creates a culture of shareholding that guarantees financial security and economic wellbeing of the average household.”

“Wealth creation is essential for building resilience,” the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Timothy Antoine, opined. “It is appropriate to situate the launch of this Mutual Fund in the broader context of our quest to build resilience in this region.”

Nigel Edwards, Executive Director of the Unit Trust Corporation and GBFL Director, underscored the accessible nature of the Fund in his remarks at the launch, stating, “I particularly want to stress that we have created this product with the everyday man in mind, to bring financial independence and financial freedom within reach for as wide a cross-section of the population as possible, and in so doing, lift the prospects of the nation as a whole.”

He added, “Deepening the capital market and developing new sources of capital is a necessary link to national and regional development. Frankly, beyond the commercial benefits, pooling capital in this way is an absolute requirement for us solving some of the infrastructure and other issues that face our island nations.”

The main objective of UTC GBFL is to provide people from all walks of life, across the ECCU, access to international capital markets via a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) or Mutual Fund.

Regional CIS Manager for GBFL, Omar Burch-Smith, highlighted the significance of this initiative in the opening remarks, noting “Nationals and residents from Anguilla to Grenada now have the ability, for the first time, to invest in a mutual fund that will give them the opportunity to claim an ownership stake in some of the largest most profitable companies in the world and to benefit from the earnings and value of these companies.”

“Our citizens now have a unique investment option tailored to the needs of the OECS,” he stressed.

The GBFL will be rolled out across other ECCU member countries over the coming months.

UTC’s regional thrust follows the launch of three products in March 2023 on the Jamaican market in a joint venture with GraceKennedy (GK) Limited, under the umbrella of GK Mutual Funds Limited. This further demonstrates the Corporation’s commitment to its mission: to create and enhance wealth for all by providing innovative investment solutions and world-class customer service.

As UTC’s Chief Investment Officer, Sekou Mark, said, “We have not just built a Mutual Fund. We have built an ecosystem to encourage the development of other Mutual Funds across the region.”

UTC Global Balanced Fund Limited (GBFL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Unit Trust Corporation, is an investment company incorporated in Saint Lucia to operate as a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

The Unit Trust Corporation is the largest mutual fund service provider in Trinidad and Tobago, with Funds Under Management, as at 31st December 2022, totalling TT$24.6BN (approx. US$3.6BN). Underpinned by a robust risk management framework, continued good investment portfolio performance and operational efficiency, UTC continues to honour its mission of generating wealth for all ‐ local communities and regionally.