The Unit Trust Corporation on Thursday launched UTC Global Balanced Fund Ltd (UTC GBFL), the first retail mutual fund in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
UTC GBFL is designed to facilitate wealth creation opportunities, promote investment literacy regionally, create employment opportunities for professionals in the ECCU, and further develop the Eastern Caribbean Securities Market.
Speaking at the launch, UTC’s executive director, Nigel Edwards, said 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 to solve some of the infrastructure and other issues that face our island nations.
“We know that all of this is only made possible through building and nurturing strong relationships, and we thank our colleagues and partners across the Eastern Caribbean landscape for their unstinting support for this initiative,” Edwards added.
UTC GBFL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, is an investment company incorporated in St Lucia to operate as a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) in the ECCU.
According to Edwards, 41 years ago, when the UTC first opened its doors, right up to the present day, its guiding premise has been offering wealth creation opportunities for all, transforming lives, and empowering our customers to make financially sound decisions.
Edwards added that the company has grown from a team of 50 enterprising and passionate pioneers to over 500 strong, serving over 543,000 unitholders and managing nine proprietary funds, with Funds Under Management of US$3.6B.
While noting that the UTC has also faced many challenges and it has also recorded many milestones, enabling progress towards financial autonomy through the provision of quality investment opportunities and financial education.
Also speaking at the event was regional was CIS Manager for UTC GBFL, Omar Burch-Smith added that the framers of the ECCU when they signed the agreement establishing the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank on July 5, 1983, would have envisioned creating an ecosystem that would provide economic stability with a stable currency, an avenue for wealth creation through savings and a robust banking system that would serve the needs of all.
Speaking yesterday, Sekou Mark, the UTC’s chief investment officer, said the new mutual fund can only be sold at broker-dealers licensed by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission.
The eight countries in which the new fund will be available are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Investors in these countries would be able to subscribe to the mutual fund for as little as US$100, which is EC$270.
The UTC GBFL is scheduled to go on sale in the Eastern Caribbean in June.
“If a Trinidad and Tobago investor wished to purchase a UTC GBFL share, he/she may do so by visiting a licensed broker-dealer in the Eastern Caribbean,” Mark said.