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BAF taps trends to build growth

CEO of insurance company targets new trends in the market, such as third party administration and self-funded healthcare, to stay ahead in economic downturn. 

Friday, November 19, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010

BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd is tapping into new markets and capitalising on industry trends to ride out the financial downturn and ensure future growth.

Chief executive officer Chester Cooper explains: “We are building on our core values, finding new ways to serve our clients and attract new ones. We want to expand the reach of our offerings.

“We are going where the people are–people need to save and invest more now than ever before to enhance their quality of life and improve their stake for their children. Everybody aspires for their children to be better off than they were. We are giving them the tools to do that.”

According to Cooper, BAF is eager to take advantage of new trends in the market, such as third party administration and self-funded healthcare.

Cooper says the company, which was first established in 1920, will also be looking to a new market to help them grow, namely those who do not bank, with a new range of “Cash and Go” products. “By January, there will be an extensive Cash and Go network providing a myriad of services to the under-banked population,” he says.

“The Bahamas is still, in large measure, a cash-driven society. Large numbers of Bahamians do not have bank accounts. Catering to this demographic by providing new services that they need will improve their way of life.”

In the face of a financial slump, BAF has been concentrating on growing its business. In November 2009, the parent company BAF Global Group acquired BACO, a Cayman Islands insurance business, and expanded further four months later when it took over Bramer General Insurance Agency in Turks and Caicos.

“We get caught up with looking at the obstacles right before us and, at the moment, that is a slow economy, but we believe this will pass. Our strategy is to break away from the pack once the economy starts on the upswing,” says Cooper, who hints that the company is hoping to expand its portfolio further in the near future.

“We are looking for the right opportunities and another potential acquisition as a synergy with our existing business. We want to take our core business, strong brand and longevity and export it globally. That is the future of our business over the next 10 years. I’m excited about the potential that exists.

“Our objective is to be here for our clients through the long haul.”

Together with fellow Bahamian and web enthusiast Chad Bowe, Forsythe set up The Bahamas Internet Association in an effort to provide some cohesion to the burgeoning industry. Here he explains some of the thinking behind the project:

The insurance giant Colina Insurance Ltd teamed up with local firm Karma Design on a company-wide rebranding, winning the coveted Silver Quill Award in Publication Design for its 2009 Annual Report.

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