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Contents

Editor’s Spin On 2015 - Clarence Hiles, Editor Map Of The Caribbean

Acknowledgements 6 10

ANTIGUA Looking For A Second Home?

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BARBADOS Resort Living. Perfected - The Crane Barbados’ Best Discover Your Sanctuary - UNNA Resorts Archers Hall Dillion Amber Dane

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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Strong Recovery In BVI - Edward Childs

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DOMINICA A Caribbean Jewel - Cecily Lees

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ST. KITTS Punching Above Its Weight - Bernadette Williams Back In Vogue - Scott Jaynes

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ST. LUCIA

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ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES The Beauty Of St. Vincent & The Grenadines Economic Game Changer Ollie Gobat

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BUSINESS & FINANCE Security Should Be A Major Priority Nicolas Humphrey Plenty Happening At Apes Hill Resort Linda Williams The Business Of Insurance Ingrid Innes Advice From A Mortgage Professional Anita Ashton Buying Your Caribbean Home Carla Boyce The Economic Scene In The Caribbean Sanjay Amin Oran Ltd. - Solid Principles Scott Oran Construction Insurance James Peirce Enhancing The Customer Experience Tracey Knight-Lloyd Globe Finance - Making Inroads Making Things Happen Jim Reid

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Caribbean Property Magazine, is a Caribbean production published by Hiltop Publications Ltd, 11 Cottage Ridge, St George, Barbados. Tel: (246) 228-9122 Fax: (246) 228-0243 email: sportingb@caribsurf.com Distribution: Pamela Hiles, Brian’s Print Brokerage. Important Websites: www.caribbeanpropertymag.com www.sportingbarbados.com www.barbadospropertynews.com Editor: Clarence Hiles Advertising: Pamela Hiles Design: 809 Design Editorial thanks to Bernadette Williams,Cecily Lees, Edward Childs, Scott Jaynes, Sanjay Amin, Anita Ashton, Nicolas Humphrey, Linda Williams, Ingrid Innes, Carla Boyce, Scott Oran, James Peirce, Tracey Knight-Lloyd, Jim Reid, John Barnard, Sam Dyson. Unless stated otherwise, the other editorial is attributed to the editor. Photography Thanks to the various developments for their permission to reproduce photographic material. Copyright: Caribbean Property Magazine 2015 Volume 14. The material and editorial content in this publication was deemed correct in May 2015 when it went to print. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any change or error and recommends all readers should verify the current details direct with the advertiser and where appropriate seek professional advice. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.

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COVER IMAGE Apes Hill Club - Tennis Courts Compliments of Apes Hill Club


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“I won’t stop traveling until I’ve seen the sun set from every coast.”


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

EDITOR’S SPIN ON

2015

It would be all too easy to say the economic quagmire of the last seven years is behind us and in a similar vein to say we are still rooted in recession. So many predictions have been made within the business community during this time that credibility has come and gone so often that perhaps predictions should be banned as they serve no useful purpose other than to fill and empty buckets. The real world is where we live and it is probably best to live in the present than dwell too much on the past or look too far into the future. A lot is happening across the Caribbean region in 2015 and it is happening in a variety of locations so there are plenty of positive business people and governments, who are playing their part to revitalize and rejuvenate industry. Of course there are the negatives, mainly associated with but not restricted to inconsistent tourism performances, hotels closing, governments struggling with fiscal deficits, poor ratings from international rating agencies, corporate, private and institutional debt and downsizing by

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commercial banks. However, the positives outweigh the negatives and although it took longer for Caribbean countries to come to terms with global recession, there is plenty of evidence that the Caribbean commercial world has taken stock, repositioned and is now fighting back. Tourism is at the heart of most Caribbean island economies and the good news is that it is performing much better. Hotel


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

sector is not an option. Several governments have introduced Citizen by Investment schemes and although there are mixed opinions on the long-term merit they have stimulated high-end residential projects and brought significant foreign currency into Government coffers. St. Kitts is an island that has significantly benefitted with the impressive Kittitian Hill and Christophe Bay projects two of the main beneficiaries. The St. Kitts and Nevis Government has also shown some enterprise in buying six of the top Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket matches to help promote the island’s name across the cricketing world and of course, to attract cricket visitors. Promoting sports tourism is a big part of their vision and with two more golf courses under construction St. Kitts and Nevis will be an attractive destination for many golfing visitors. figures are up and growth rates have increased significantly in virtually every location, with Barbados a notable exception. Overall sales of vacation homes remain stagnant, but there have been encouraging signs in early 2015 that this trend is starting to move positively. The cruise line business is growing and more and more islands are capitalizing on the numbers. Impressive new docking facilities have been built over the past five years and further expansion is in the pipeline. Also, the tourism infrastructure on land has significantly grown to provide more facilities for cruise line visitors with additional activities and shopping to capitalize on these short-term arrivals. Long gone is the dinosaur thinking that short-term cruise ship visitors don’t spend because they do and they spend heavily. Airlift has always been a challenge in some islands, but overall the numbers are up and this is very

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important as the international airlines play an important part in promoting the Caribbean tourism product. And if evidence is needed of the support they get from local governments then look at the vastly improved airports across the region’s main hubs. The importance of airlift and tourism has not been lost on ebullient St. Vincent Prime Minister the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves. Although small in size, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Government took the visionary decision to build an international airport at an estimated cost of US$260 million, a monumental decision that will eventually transform the island’s economy and provide employment and business opportunities across a plethora of businesses. Governments across the region have had to grapple with economic adversity, but they understand that leaving the vital hospitality business solely in the hands of the private

The new Port Ferdinand Marina Development, the expansion of the Sandals brand and construction starting on the new Apes Hill Resort clubhouse are the major stories in Barbados, widely billed as the jewel in the Caribbean hospitality crown. We hope these positive signs will entice investors, business people, visitors and potential new homeowners to come to the Caribbean and experience this remarkable and unique region. Finally, a huge thank-you to everyone who has supported this publication because we need positive people to support the promotion of the Caribbean.

Clarence Hiles Editor


keep up to date with property issues on the all new www.caribbeanpropertymag.com and www.barbadospropertynews.com


MAP OF THE

Caribbean Islands


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

ANTIGUA

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” ~ST. AUGUSTINE


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Looking for a second home?

Beautiful Antigua & Barbuda offers exceptional value for money, has a booming holiday rental market – and is one of the last places on earth to provide a truly authentic Caribbean experience.


Breathtaking tropical scenery, translucent turquoise waters with sand as soft as silk, and charming, hospitable people – all on a sunauthentic Caribbean experience.

buyers’ market. A two-bedroom home on the water with private boat mooring in the gated Jolly Harbour community can be snapped up for as little as US$200,000.

These are just some of the reasons Antigua & Barbuda welcomes its visitors back year after year – and seduces thousands of new ones.

A regional hub for air travel, getting to the English-speaking low-crime paradise is as smooth as its iconic local rum. Direct

Throw in a plethora of intriguing historical sites, some high-energy Carnival festivities and countless top-notch restaurants and it’s little wonder that more and more people each year are choosing Antigua when buying a second home.

Manchester, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto and Frankfurt to name a few.

The twin island nation, which offers far superior value for money than most of its regional

As a former British colony – where enchanting Georgian ruins are a beguiling nod to yesteryear – Antigua still follows UK law. This has the bonus of making a property purchase a seamless process.


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Well-heeled clientele wooed by the island’s laidback ambiance and privacy include the likes of rock legend Eric Clapton and Italian fashion designers Giorgio Armani and Stefano Gabbana, who all call Antigua home – at least some of the year.

each year as you wish in your new home, you will be exempt from many Antiguan taxes too, including personal income, net worth, gift tax and estate duty.

multi-million mansions. Anyone interested in building their own

Locations

Anyone looking to follow in their

residence is an easy, enjoyable and fruitful experience. An associate of Savills International,

Luxury Locations’ comprehensive real estate services also include meticulous property management. For the savvy, Antigua is a great long-term investment with high demand for short-term rentals. And with a growing economy and prices still at an all time low, there’s no better time than now to start looking for your dream home in the sun.

their desired home, must apply for a non-citizen’s licence. For per cent of the purchase price. However, if you choose to invest in a new development you will likely be offered a generously approval – which 99 per cent of applicants do – takes anywhere from three to 12 weeks. There’s one more reason why discerning investors’ eyes are esoteric corner of the globe. The recent introduction of a citizenship by investment programme means those who invest US$400,000 or more in approved real estate developments are eligible to apply for an Antigua & Barbuda passport - without relinquishing their current citizenship. For many, it’s an excellent way to solidify some assets and lower being able to spend as much time

team

can

ensure

cemented its position as leaders in the Antiguan property market. Luxury Locations’ extensive portfolio ranges from cosy villas with excellent rental capacity to

located parcels of land, perfect for designing and constructing a house from scratch.


Interview with Luxury Locations’ owners Sam and Nadia Dyson Tell us a little about your company. Nadia: “With more than three decades’ collective experience in the Antiguan property market, we launched Luxury Locations in May 2009 and today exclusively represent the bulk of the high end housing market. Because we are a small but dedicated team, we can offer a bespoke service individually tailored to suit all our clients’ requirements. We pride ourselves on making the home hunt fun and fruitful! As well as sales and property management, we also have many holiday villas for rent to suit all budgets via our What makes Antigua stand out from other Caribbean islands? Sam: “Antigua has a very low crime rate and is loved for its wonderfully organic, grassroots charm. High numbers of tourists haven’t mitigated its vibrant culture which can be seen and felt everywhere. Antigua offers something to suit everyone. The conditions are perfect for and diving. There are interesting

historical sites to explore, good resorts, excellent restaurants and spas. And that’s before you get to the lively Carnival festivities and nightlife. Antigua’s array of beaches gave rise to the tagline ‘a beach for every day of the year’.” How has Antigua & Barbuda’s property market fared after the recession? Sam: “Momentum continues to build in key housing markets worldwide which is great news for investors everywhere. Prices are still relatively low here – you get much more for your money than places like Barbados, Cayman Islands or St Maarten for example – and the holiday rental market is doing better than ever. Generally, owners can expect a 10 per cent annual return on their investment if they enter it into the rental pool.” Nadia: “Antigua is hard to beat on price. There are few places in the world that you can still buy a waterfront property with a boat dock in a desirable gated community with excellent amenities for just US$200,000.

Luxury Locations’ CEO Sam Dyson (centre) and founder Nadia Dyson reclaim the title of third best small real estate agency in the world at November’s Overseas Property Professionals Awards.


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

minimum US$400,000 are eligible for an Antiguan passport.”

Over the last year we have experienced an unprecedented level of sales. Coupled with the surge in interest from large-scale developers, all indications are that a bright future is ahead.” How easy is it for a foreigner to buy property in Antigua? Nadia: “It’s a fairly straightforward process. They just need to apply for a non-citizen’s licence which purchase price. Part of the service we offer clients is taking care of that for them. Most people receive the licence within a few weeks. In 2013, a citizenship by investment scheme came into effect – those who purchase a home in an approved development for a

What’s the demographic of overseas buyers? Nadia: “Very diverse, from middle-aged people looking for a holiday home and a long-term investment to older people on the hunt for a great and safe place to retire. A large percentage are Brits; we also have many buyers from North America and Italy.” Where are the ‘hotspots’ that buyers might focus on? Sam: “The west coast is particularly popular because of its Caribbean Sea shoreline. Many choose to buy in the expat hub of Jolly Harbour, a bustling gated community with shops, bars and restaurants all within walking distance. English Harbour is popular with those who love to sail and has great seasonal nightlife. Many opt to buy within a resort environment, such as Blue Waters on the north-west

coast, which comes with access to all of the resort’s facilities plus maintenance of their property when they’re away.” What are your favourite things about Antigua? Nadia: “Certainly our gorgeous sunny weather and spectacular beaches. We love the fact Antigua has maintained its individuality and culture while many of its neighbours have sadly lost that. The locals here are super friendly too; visitors and new residents always say the people are a major factor in making the decision to return on holiday or set up home here. On top of that, Antigua feels very safe and offers a great standard of living.”

Antigua, W.I. Telephone: +1268 562 8174 info@luxurylocations.com www.luxurylocations.com


Jolly House, Jolly Harbour

Flint House, Jumby Bay

Sale price: US$4,750,000 Luxurious 10-bed home ideally located at entrance to full service marina

Sale price on request Stately 5-bed home occupying 3 acres of exclusive private island

263 Palm Beach, Jolly Harbour

Cole House, English Harbour

Sale price: US$3,150,000 Holiday rent: from US$6,500 per week Show-stopping 4-bed beachfront home with 80ft fully-equipped boat dock

Sale price: US$3,000,000 Beautifully appointed 4-bed hillside home with pool and guest cottage

Villa Capri, Galley Bay Heights

Sea Horse, Tamarind Hills

Sale price: US$4,500,000 Holiday rent: from US$10,500 per week Spectacular 4-bed retreat in luxury development with panoramic sea views

Sale price: US$1,300,000 Elegant 3-bed 3-bath home with jaw-dropping Caribbean Sea views

Villa 403F, Jolly Harbour

En-suite bedrooms, Blue Waters resort

Sale price: US$235,000 Holiday rent: from US$750 per week Stylish 2-bed waterfront home with boat slip in desirable gated community

Sale price: From US$485,000 Superb investment opportunity with guaranteed 5% return on investment. Access to room up to 3 weeks each year


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

BARBADOS

“Not all those who wonder are lost” ~J. R. R. TOLKIEN


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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

THE CRANE AT THE INTERSECTION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. Set on one of the world’s finest beaches, The Crane was founded as Barbados’ first resort in 1887 and has always attracted a special kind of person to its extraordinary expanse of sand, spectacular vistas and unspoiled coast. A unique blend of 19th century grandeur and 21st century convenience, each residence has been specially designed to rival stunning views often called ‘the most beautiful on earth’. Residents of The Crane and The Crane Private Residences enjoy all of the amenities and services expected of one of the world’s premier resorts: Savor superb local and international cuisine in one of four award-winning restaurants; Meet friends at one of The Crane’s two ‘historic’ bars; Indulge in shopping, entertainment and more in The Village, the hub of The Crane community; and experience Crane’s spectacular cascading pools as well as its spa, tennis and fitness facilities.

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BEACH HOUSES THE OTHER SIDE OF BARBADOS. 99% of the East Coast of Barbados has been reserved as a National Park so that future generations may forever enjoy the most spectacular natural beauty the Caribbean has to offer. On the remaining 1% is Beach Houses - 62 free standing residences and a small boutique hotel spread across a gently sloping hillside. Designed for those who really want to get away. Beach Houses seamlessly marry the simple elegance and open spaces of contemporary architecture to the casual comfort of the traditional Barbados East Coast beach house. Generously scaled and beautifully appointed, each villa sits on approximately 1/5th of an acre and features breathtaking ocean views, floorto-ceiling glass windows, infinity edge private pools with hot tubs, private patios and gardens offering a “no tan-lines” level of privacy, hammocks, BBQ grills and built-in owner’s storage. Beach Houses provide “laid back” luxury for an intimate community of residents with


Resort Living. Perfected Presenting two exceptional residential resorts on the South Eastern side of Barbados. “Secluded. Peaceful. A Casual Elegance.“ Designed for those who prefer to travel in a different direction.


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

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a secluded beach, 2 restaurants, a dramatic bar and a state of the art wellness centre - all featuring extraordinary panoramic ocean views. The Beach Houses Resort will also feature a floodlit tennis court, a full service day spa and a convenience store. Beach House residents will also enjoy privileged access to its sister property - The Crane.

RESIDENTIAL OWNERSHIP Crane Resorts Residential Owners will immediately be part of an established luxury resort community with completed world-class amenities and services that truly perfect the art of island living. The Crane Private Residences Uniquely positioned as a gated residential community within a gated resort, The Crane Private Residences boasts the spacious two and three-bedroom residences that are perfect for long-term island living. Starting at $765,000, pre-construction prices are approximately half of comparable ocean front apartments in Barbados.

The Crane Residences in The Park Located in The Park, these one and two bedroom residences feature all that is glorious about The Crane, and then add their own spirit: ground floor private gardens with swimming pools, dining gazebos, or penthouse residences with a private sundeck with rooftop pool, BBQ and bar. A discretely private indoor-outdoor life. Prices start at $395,000

residence in a luxury gated resort community in the most sought after part of Barbados by those in the know. The East Coast of Barbados is home to a small number of rustic ‘beach houses’, many of which are second homes to a few fortunate Barbadian families. As development remains extremely restricted on the East Coast, beach houses are passed down from one generation to the next, rendering the prospect of ownership virtually impossible until now. From $1.9 million

FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP This program particularly appeals to those wanting to visit Barbados and come home to their specific residence of choice at The Crane or Beach Houses for specific periods of time every year, but do not need to commit to the purchase of a whole ownership residence. By owning a fraction at The Crane Resorts, you combine the effortless lifestyle of Crane Resorts with the freedom of fractional ownership and a profitable rental pool. Owners benefit from complete flexibility through Crane Resorts’ membership in The Registry Collection exchanges to over 200 of the world's most luxurious properties and private residence clubs are just a phone call away through your Crane Ownership Representative. 4 weeks

annually, in perpetuity at The Crane from US$119,180 (summer) and US$175,748 (winter) or at Beach Houses from US$46,665 (summer) and US$93,380 (winter).

THE CRANE VACATION CLUB The Crane Vacation Club offers the best value for those who do not need a specific unit at a specific time of year. An annual allotment of Crane Vacation Points gives access to luxurious, residential style vacations at The Crane, Beach Houses, as well as hundreds of the world’s most exclusive fractional ownership resorts through The Registry Collection, every year, forever. A Crane Vacation Club purchase price of $14,400 (for example) allows for a one-week vacation during the peak Season in a one-bedroom residence in an ultra-luxury fractional ownership resort such as the Four Seasons Residences (Scottsdale), Millenium Hilton (NY) and Borgo di Vagli (Tuscany); or a two-bedroom residence in luxury resorts such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Orlando), Grand Mayan (Acapulco) and Anantara (Bali). Every year... forever. To book a tour or for more information, contact the Property Sales Office at Crane Resorts: (246) 416-6560, property@craneresorts.com

Beach Houses Beach Houses represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase a wholly owned

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE PORT FERDINAND - POOL ISLAND.

PORT FERDINAND - MARINA & OCEAN VIEWS

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DISCOVER your SANCTUARY Sea turtles recognised the potential of Saint Peter’s Bay in Barbados long before people ever did. These magnificent creatures have been laying their eggs in the bright white sand of the island’s north-west coast since before human beings even evolved, in fact. These days, however, turtles aren’t the only ones who return to this heavenly spot year after year.

home owners spend two to three months a year here, with a handful of families making it their primary residence, explains Alistair Brown, sales and marketing director at UNNA Luxury Resorts & Residences, the Barbadian brand that manages Saint Peter’s Bay. ‘Even when they’re not in residence, we are here for them. There’s always a need from our owners who live all

PORT FERDINAND

Many years in the planning, Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences has been welcoming visitors to this patch of paradise since 2010. Its 57 luxury threeand four-bedroom beachfront homes are among the most desirable properties in the Caribbean, boasting up to 6,300 square feet of living space, breathtaking ocean views and breezy terraces with private spa tubs on each terrace. The resort offers a unique setting that provides a haven of fun and adventure for families from all over the world. Many PORT FERDINAND - OPEN PLAN LIVING & DINING

over the world and we know their time is precious so we are here for them each and every day,’ says Brown. ‘There will be regular maintenance programmes and also we’ll then go ahead and make sure that we rent out their home if required. We have a very distinct product: our homes are bought to enjoy however we rent homes too.’ Saint Peter’s Bay has become a major draw for visitors holidaying in Barbados, in fact, appealing to people who appreciate the privacy of a self-contained residence combined with all the luxury

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

touches you’d expect from a fivestar beach resort. For example, there’s a concierge to do your grocery shopping, private chefs on call for intimate suppers at home, a 160ft lagoon-style pool hugging the beach, beauty salon, fitness centre, yoga and pilates studio... the list goes on. The offering has been made even more special in recent years with the launch of Port Ferdinand Marina & Luxury Residences, a second UNNA resort a short water taxi ride up the coast from Saint Peter’s Bay. Located on the site of one of the island’s first harbours, Port Ferdinand adds another 82 designer homes to the mix, plus 120 berths for yachts of up to 90ft in length.

A SEA OF CHANGE Barbados used to be known almost exclusively as a destination for couples, but the demographic is changing, with families coming to the island in increasing numbers. It’s hardly surprising,

It’s not just this multigenerational approach that’s new to Barbados, but UNNA’s focus on aquatic opportunities too. Despite its glorious beaches, the island hasn’t traditionally been known as a water destination, particularly in comparison with other spots in

PEOPLE GET TO KNOW BARBADOS OVER MONTHS OR YEARS, FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PLACE AND ITS PEOPLE,THEN MAKE THE INVESTMENT...

All the properties - from twobedroom marina-view homes to four-bedroom deluxe sea-view penthouses - come with private berths and boat storage facilities at dock level, plus access to UNNA’s yacht management services. Unlike other Barbados marinas, berths are only available to residents, ensuring that Port Ferdinand remains a truly exclusive vacation environment. Thanks to the water taxi service, however, the delights of Saint Peter’s Bay, historic Speightstown and a host of other local attractions are just a few minutes’ ride away. Guests and residents of UNNA’s resorts use the service to hop between the two all the time, whether to visit the international delicatessen at Port Ferdinand or for a spot of turtle watching at Saint Peter’s Bay.

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ST. PETERS BAY - POOL & OCEAN VIEWS

given how much there is to do here. A wide range of watersports are available across the two locations, from leisurely pursuits such as snorkelling and paddle boarding to higher-adrenaline activities such as surfing and scuba diving. Guests and homeowners also have preferred access to tee times at excellent nearby golf courses, and there’s a full-service spa and indoor golf simulator at Port Ferdinand. ‘We really want people to try different things and enjoy different experiences and activities that you can do as a family,’ says Brown. ‘You can go out in a kayak, you can go out on a paddle board, you can go diving. Even if it’s just snorkeling over a reef, we’ve come up with a model to build memorable experiences.’

the Caribbean such as the British Virgin Islands. The management company is hoping to change all that, from watersports provision to the outstanding yachting facilities available at Port Ferdinand to the convenience and fun of the water taxis. ‘The whole experience of being on the water just makes everything different,’ says Brown. ‘Say a guest or homeowner wants to visit our fine-dining restaurant, 13/59 at Port Ferdinand, or enjoy a beachside lunch locally - the water taxi will run you right up on to the beach; you’ll jump off and take a few steps and you’ll be in the restaurant.’ Unsurprisingly, vacation rentals make up a significant proportion of UNNA’s business, with considerable numbers of visitors


requesting the same home again and again. It’s also where the vast majority of the firm’s property sales originate. People get to know Barbados over months or years, fall in love with the place and its people, then make the investment that means they can call the island home

their relationship with Barbados, it’s the attractive investment environment that tempts them to stay. ‘Barbados has come up with some amazing new opportunities for people spending US$2 million or more on a home,’ explains Brown.

the firm’s smooth-running maintenance programme ensures that investors’ interests are protected. The island nation’s stable government, which operates within a political system similar to the UK’s, offers further reassurance. Having launched as recently as

ST. PETERS BAY - SPACIOUS MASTER BEDROOMS

BRITISH HERITAGE First settled by the British in the 17th century, Barbados has been an independent Commonwealth nation, with the Queen as head of state, since 1966. While Americans were the island’s first tourists, the launch of direct Concorde flights from the UK in 1987 (London to Bridgetown in just four hours!) really put it on the map for the British. These days around 65 per cent of UNNA’s clients are British, with a further 30 per cent from North America, and a smattering of other nationalities, mainly European, making up the total. But if it’s the white sand beaches, rich cultural heritage, warm hospitality and year-round perfect climate that entice visitors to begin

‘Barbados can become their tax base and the tax on foreign currency is very attractive. The residence permit applies to family and it can lead to citizenship in time.’ UNNA is also doing its part, offering duty-free concessions on boats and cars with purchases of homes at Port Ferdinand. And while most clients don’t buy with UNNA with a view to making cash returns on their investment, some home owners in Saint Peter’s Bay are doing exactly that. For the majority of the community - those looking to be cost-neutral -

2010, Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences is expected to reach full occupancy within another three years. Sales at Port Ferdinand Marina and Luxury Residences are progressing nicely, too, and Brown is excited about what the future holds for not only tourism but also investment in Barbados: ‘We’ve got a great airport, we've got improving infrastructure, we've got a willing population - and now, through UNNA's managed properties, we've got new product for the first time in many many years.'

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Archer’s Hall Design Centre

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

I hope that has caught your interest and you are intrigued to know more about this company.

The ultimate compliment was given to a company a number of years ago when a client from the U.K. came into their showroom, saw their Christmas tree display and insisted that they sell it to them so they could carry it back on the plane with them. Who would have thought that someone living in the U.K. where all types of cultures and continents co-exist and everything that you would want is available on

46

their shores would buy a decorated Christmas tree from a small island called Barbados because they just had to have it! Let me further paint a picture. It was not a monster of a tree, nor was it an “island vibe” tree. It was a 6’ tree beautifully decorated with Victorian ornaments, reminiscent of those by-gone days of simpler times but a sense nevertheless of opulence and purity.

The name of the company is Dillon Amber Dane Inc. and they began operations in Barbados in 1998, a small company which was birthed from the back office of a rented home. Dillon Amber Dane is a proud family run business, headed by the husband and wife team of Angela and Jerry Clarke. Prior to moving from Canada to Barbados in 1995, Angela spent twelve years in the furniture and fabric Industry in Toronto. Although Jerry studied Mechanical Engineering, he spent the majority of his years working in the financial services sector in Canada. Their daughter, Amber Clarke, recently returned to Barbados to work in the company after working in Toronto’s Design District. Due to their respective


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

fields of study and work experience, the trio possesses a wealth of ideas and knowledge related to the furniture industry, design and interior space planning.

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Dillon Amber Dane was initially focused on the furniture, accessories and interior needs of corporate Barbados. The commercial division concentrates

Shortly afterwards, Dillon Amber Dane partnered with Scavolini Kitchens to become the authorized dealer for the majority of the Caribbean. Scavolini has become the most recognized brand of kitchens in Italy for over 30 years. The Scavolini collection is made up of more than 40 models to interpret multiple interior design needs from contemporary to classic and minimalistic to more

Dillon Amber Dane go beyond selling as they are equally involved and interested in helping clients in the after sales process. Their passion has not waivered but has intensified as years go by. The company aims to create exciting, unique work and home spaces while maximizing functionality and preserving a high standard of elegance and style. They will

on corporate, governmental, international agencies, industrial, institutional and health care facilities. They pride themselves as being a resource for a vast range of companies while providing great solutions to their unique requirements. After completing numerous successful projects, Dillon Amber Dane decided to diversify in 2003 and embarked into the residential arena. The residential sector represents a handful of carefully chosen brands from across the world that caters to private homes, villas and the hospitality market.

elaborate styles. Another welcome addition to the brand is bathrooms and living spaces. Today, many new homes and villas being built are opting for a more modern aesthetics and this works well for the company as it is well positioned to provide a streamlined approach to the entire home. Fast forward 12 years and Dillon Amber Dane continues to be recognized as a leader in their field due to their selection of international brands, expertise and excellent customer relations. Most recently the company has expanded their portfolio to include the European appliance brand, Smeg.

always point out that they don’t simply just supply products; they listen and work with clients to create environments that they are proud to be associated with. Give these guys a shell and watch them transform it into an atmosphere that will inspire you whether it is for work or play. Of course, the ultimate icing on the cake is when their clients are pleased or even better the end result exceeds their expectations. Is Dillon Amber Dane good at what they do? Just ask their clients!


CARTER’S GROVE TICKS ALL THE RIGHT BOXES You don’t have to be a millionaire to own property in Barbados -you just have to find the property that meets your needs and comes at the right price. You just have to visit Carter’s Grove… Carter’s Grove will appeal to a variety of people including first-time buyers, people who love the Enterprise/Atlantic Shores area and returning nationals looking to buy a piece of the rock. The purchase price includes buying the land and construction, both of which must be done at the same time. The 1st Phase of Carter’s Grove involved 10 properties and all the

properties are completed and occupied. As with many new developments the early purchasers have enjoyed significant appreciation on their investment. The 2nd and final Phase has just been released. It offers five new properties in the BDS$425-$445,000 price range. These three-bedroom detached 1,200 sq ft properties are finished to a high quality. The purchaser has the option of changing the internal design to meet their own requirements prior to the start of building and extras can be added. The builder can also offer a two-bedroom option at a lower price and purchasers can get up to 100% mortgage funding subject to qualification. This could include returning nationals. When the five properties are sold and constructed the site will be tastefully landscaped and closed.

There has been plenty of speculation about failing values in the property market over the past five years and if the drop has finally bottomed out. However, properties in the BDS$250,00-450,000 price range have never dropped in value and continue to show growth. Looking at other properties in this price range it is clear that Carter’s Grove ticks all the right boxes for home seekers and in addition to providing excellent value for money there is scope for capital appreciation. Located within two minutes drive from beautiful Miami Beach and Atlantic Shores and four minutes from Oistins fishing village, Carter’s Grove is also within easy access to all South Coast amenities and the Grantley Adams International Airport. It offers a wonderful opportunity to buy your own home and enjoy the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.

For more information and a brochure visit the website www.carrters-grove.com or call 230 9215.


M W O VI O R E UR S EL A E w C C E D BSI N IT w TR O E T EW w. O P T E ca N Y O AI FO rt IC F LS R er B O A s- RO U ND gr C R ov H e. U R co E m

FINAL PHASE ONLY FIVE UNITS LEFT PRICES STARTING AT BDS$425,000

• Land/Construction detached single storey homes • 1,200 sq ft three-bedroom design • Small community of 15 units in quiet cul-de-sac • Plot sizes approx 4,000-4,500 sq ft. • First Phase of 10 units completed and occupied • Located just off Enterprise Road a few minutes drive from Oistins • Up to 100% mortgage facilities available

FOR MORE INFORMATIONEmail-info@carters-grove.com Tel- 230 9215 Or visit website- www.carters-grove.com


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Strong Recovery in BVI EDWARD CHILDS HIGHLIGHTS Edward Childs is a Director of Smiths Gore BVI Limited and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). An Economics Graduate of Newcastle University in England he has over 20 years experience working in the Caribbean across a wide range of valuation and consultancy services. He has specialist expertise in the purchase and sale of islands. His work takes him all over the region. He can be contacted at Smiths Gore Ltd in Tortola by telephone 284 494 2446 or by email at Edward@smithsgore.com

By the end of the first quarter of 2015, the economic roller coaster recovery continues with almost as many downs as ups. There is now clear air between the recovery of the economy in America and the more languid performance of the European markets. As the Federal Reserve finishes its own QE (Quantitative Easing) programme and may be looking to raise base interest rates during the year, so the European Central Bank is just starting its own QE, somewhat late to the starting gate, with its purchase of bonds. Continued improvement in employment data in the United States has helped boost the Dollar against other currencies, while the lowest fuel prices in six years has reduced manufacturing costs and helped industrial output. Growth has generated more demand for cash to fund investment, another pointer to a raise in interest rates sooner than later. However, as the US economy grows and the US Dollar strengthens against other currencies, exports will be impacted which in turn may delay decisions on interest rates. Investors and borrowers alike will be waiting for the next step from the Federal Reserve, but all signs at the moment are pointing to a raise this year. While the US looks set to enjoy a period of growth, the European

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QE programme will drive down borrowing costs even more, although the weak Euro will allow export growth in foreign markets which will eventually help stimulate productivity within the Eurozone. The divergence of the American and European economies can be summarized by the following key economic data showing changes over a 12 month period : Brent Crude Oil $53 per barrel (March 2014 = $108 per barrel) % change -51% Dollar Euro Exchange Rate $1.06 (March 2014 = $1.38) % change -23% Dollar Sterling Exchange Rate $1.47 (March 2014 = $1.67) % change -12% The Caribbean markets are greatly influenced by both the North American and European economies, with changes in these economies having an impact on both tourism and direct investment. As the European currencies (both the Euro and Sterling) weaken against the Dollar, investment and tourists from those currencies will be reduced as Caribbean currencies are pegged to the Dollar.


The development pace in the BVI has naturally been slow as successive Governments have had the benefit of revenues generated from a healthy financial services sector, resulting in the BVI being able to choose lower density development over mass tourism. However, a slowing down in the growth of company formations in the BVI, as external pressure on international financial centres from Europe and America takes hold, has led to concerns that long term revenues from this sector may be under threat. The BVI Government is therefore looking at alternative sources of long term income should revenues from the financial centre decline significantly.

Within the British Virgin Islands, our northern Caribbean location dictates that our greatest sphere of influence is from North America, with over 74% of our tourists coming from the USA or Canada in 2012 compared to 19% from Europe. Likewise, direct investment in the BVI, mainly through the acquisition of land or houses, is generally dominated by American investment which has picked up as the US economy improves. With the US Dollar as the local currency combined with tax advantages for investors (no exchange controls, capital gains taxes or estate taxes), the BVI has remained a popular destination for North American capital and those seeking a second home.

The Government has embarked on a number of infrastructure projects in the BVI, both as a means of stimulating the economy and as a way to support tourism and other sectors in the future. The development of the cruiseship dock, with an extension to the dock and development of a new retail and office park adjacent, commenced in 2014 and is slated to be ready for the start of the 2015/16 cruiseship season. Other major infrastructure projects include improvements to the roads throughout the Territory and the commencement of a new water and sewerage project for Tortola by an independent company. Critically, the Government is looking at access to the BVI and has committed itself to the extension of the runway at Beef Island Airport in order to accept direct flights from North America. With an election due within the next twelve months, it is all go here in the BVI! Private sector development in the BVI has been focused on the North Sound area of Virgin Gorda where three major projects

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Figure 1

Figure 2

are in the course of development at Oil Nut Bay, YCCS Marina and Moskito Island. These developments have established North Sound as a luxury destination in the Caribbean where mega yachts frequent and luxury homes are in the course of development. The low density development projects have not created major impacts on the area which was already well established as a sailing destination. Elsewhere in the BVI, Nanny Cay is about to embark on a new phase of development with the construction of a marina basin located on the east side of the Cay and a further 56 town homes constructed on an enlarged breakwater creating the marina. This project will build on the already successful marina, hotel and residential development at Nanny Cay. The data on residential villa sales graphically shows the performance of the residential sector in the growth period prior to 2008, the crash and subsequent start of the recovery. We track residential sales in the BVI over $500,000 and the graph at Figure 1, showing the value of all villa transactions over this threshold, is representative of this cycle.

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At the height of the market in 2008 (representing contracts signed prior to the crash which took time to close due to the land holding licence system), there was a total of US$46M in transactions, dipping to $11.5M by 2011, a fall of 75% in revenues. However, the subsequent recovery shows revenues from sales increasing to $27.5M in 2013 and $32.5M in 2014. In terms of the number of sales, a similar pattern emerges as seen in the graph at Figure 2, with a total of 29 sales completing in 2008, falling to 9 in 2012 before rising back up to 21 sales in 2013 and 2014 respectively. However, the median sale value has remained relatively steady ranging between $620,000 (2003) and $950,000 (2012) when two of the nine villas sold that year were in excess of $4.0M. In 2014, the median villa value was $700,000 compared with $800,000 in 2008. In terms of price category, the market is dominated by sales under $1.0M which represents 66% of the total number of transactions since 2003 as shown in the graph at Figure 3. The remaining sales are divided between sales from $1M - $3M at 28% and sales over $3M at 5%. While the statistics for total sales


Figure 3

volume and number of sales show evidence of a recovery, there remains a large inventory (currently in excess of 200 units over $500,000) on the market. This will continue to create an imbalance between supply and demand while annual sales are currently between 20 and 30 units per year.

As the US economy continues to grow, we can hope to see increased interest in real estate in the BVI from this market, however the large inventory of homes available for sale will continue to hold back prices until balance is restored between demand and supply.

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

DOMINICA


“Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost”


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

DOMINICA

A CARIBBEAN JEWEL Cecily Lees exudes the virtues of an island that has retained much of its culture and charm despite the rampant development in other Caribbean locations…

Cecily Lees is a UK trained lawyer and the Co-Proprietor of Safe Haven Real Estate office at the Bayfront, Roseau. She offers a wide range of business expertise and can be contacted by telephone at (767) 448 5718 / 440 0878 or by email at safehaven@cwdom.dm

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Dominica is truly a jewel in the Eastern Caribbean. It is reputed to have 365 rivers, one for each day of the year. The island is covered with lush vegetation, clean sparkling rivers, waterfalls, which dissect deep gorges, hot sulphur springs and volcanic sandy beaches. It boasts a World Heritage site - the renowned Morne Trois Pitons National Park where you will find the second largest Boiling Lake in the world, the Boeri Lake and the Freshwater Lake as well as the 300ft high Middleham Falls. And last, but by no means leastMorne Trois Pitons, which, at 4,747ft high is the second highest mountain in Dominica and one of the highest in the region. We must not ignore our underwater wonderland either. It has been described by some people as the, “blue economy”. Why? Because Dominica is rated fifth in the world’s top destinations for diving and attracts visitors from all over the globe throughout the year, who wish to enjoy our underwater beauty. They will also experience our recent alien invader - the spectacular and fearsome looking Lionfish. Fortunately this predator, whose spines are poisonous, has not daunted our enterprising local fishermen. Instead, they hunt it with spear guns and it has rapidly become a popular culinary delicacy on the island.

Many people long to see the magnificent whales in their natural environment and their dream can become a reality because just off the Dominican coastline you will see whales and dolphins at play virtually all year round. There is nothing in the marine world to match this awesome spectacle. Above ground Dominica is often referred to as the, “bread basket of the Caribbean” and not without good cause, as everything grows in abundance as a result of our high rainfall and fertile soil. There are herbs and plants aplenty, some reputed to have special healing qualities, which could become an untapped source of commercial revenue for Dominica in the future. People around the globe are becoming more health conscious and seeking an alternative or at least a supplement to traditional medicine. This may eventually include the controlled development of alternative health treatments by legalizing, for example, marijuana, as recently happened in Jamaica. Marijuana also produces hemp, which is used in the production of rope and clothing, but its use or possibly misuse, remains a contentious and controversial issue in the modern world. Many plants flourish in the unique Dominican environment and although the island has been slow to develop their commercial potential, the global market place


It is reputed to have 365 rivers, one for each day of the year.

is changing and new business opportunities are being explored. As with many Caribbean islands tourism plays a major role in the local economy. However, like many people on the island I feel it is important that a balance is maintained and that we do not become over dependent on this sector, as tourism is a very fickle industry. Of course, we welcome tourists and understand their commercial value to the economy, but unlike many of the

islands in the region Dominica has not been overwhelmed or become totally dependent on the tourism industry. The local culture has remained intact with many unique, smaller hotels, which are locally owned and managed, and which give the visitor a more personal experience. More recently Dominica has re-visited its Economic Citizenship Programme, which provides citizenship by

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Another example is the making and exporting of essential oils. The coconut and bay leaf oil is the purest and gentlest I have ever used. It has a silky quality and melts into the skin, leaving no residue. It’s simply divine and a high-end product made in Dominica. The old folk had it right when they cooked with coconut oil and there are now many local people now producing coconut oil and selling it to shops and supermarkets. Other entrepreneurs have started making soap or harnessing the health-giving qualities of the many fruits, which might otherwise go to waste by drying them naturally without preservatives. There are also a number of entrepreneurs producing quality chocolate with a high cocoa content. As we know, chocolate has many health-giving qualities, especially dark chocolate.

We live at a latitude perfect for taking advantage of environmentally friendly solar technology...

investment in real estate. The first development to obtain approval is situated on the edge of the beautiful Cabrits National Park in the north of the island. This programme compares very favourably with similar schemes in St. Kitts and Antigua and is very competitively priced. We often speculate as to what does the future hold for the “Nature Isle”? Personally, I feel that agriculture and its associated industries can generate substantially more income for the island in the future. There are many small industries, which are being started by local entrepreneurs, based around the healthy living concept. They can be expanded or marketed much better and can eventually reach out to a wider market. For example, if you cannot tolerate gluten why not try banana flour, which is now manufactured and sold in Dominica?

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We live at a latitude perfect for taking advantage of environmentally friendly solar technology and there are now several companies offering this as a domestic alternative to the island’s electricity utility company, which will also buy back any excess power generated. Our belief in a green economy is strong. Agriculture and the healthy living movement are the way to go. They complement what the island has to offer without destroying it and ensure that its beauty will be preserved for future generations. If you are thinking of moving to the island there are many opportunities to develop these types of products whilst living in a healthy sustainable way. We are very proud of the beautiful Nature Island of Dominica.


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S T. K I T T S

“Instead of

wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” ~SETH GODIN


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Punching Above Its Weight Local realtor Bernadette Williams lauds the attributes of one of the Caribbean’s gems and the reason why it is not hidden any more these days…

Bernadette Williams is the Principal of BW Property management Services and has been in the property business for over 15 years. She has wide experience in property sales, rentals and construction, both residential and commercial. She also holds a Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and can be contacted by telephone at 869 662 5227 or by email at bwilliams@ bwilliamsmanagement.com

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has always been a lovely place to visit and explore. The people are friendly and there are many different things to do. The twin islands have been working very hard and will continue to do so to bring people to its shores whether it is for pleasure or investment purposes. One of the biggest factors that has raised the profile of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in recent times is the Citizenship By Investment program. It has brought significant development and investment to the island over the past ten years and involved both local and foreign developers. Two of the high

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profile new developments are the impressive Kittitian Hill Resort, which is located in the countryside in St. Paul’s in the north of the island and the prestigious and visionary Christophe Harbour project with the Park Hyatt, which is located on the Southeast Peninsula. We should also highlight Pelican Bay in the Potato Bay-Frigate Bay area and across the water in Nevis the famed Four Seasons Resort and the Nelson Spring Beach Resort. Another contributory factor to the increase in international profile, and a thriving business that has brought a lot more traffic to St. Kitts and Nevis is the


rapidly growing cruise ship industry. It is widely reported that the Caribbean is the largest cruising region in the world and over the past few years we have been able to increase the amount of cruise ships coming into the country largely because the private and public sector have worked together for mutual benefit. The St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Tourism and its partners in the private sector deserve a lot of credit for bringing new cruise lines, thousands more visitors and more ships to our shores. Elections were held in the Federation in early 2015 and we look forward to the new government continuing this visionary strategy to grow our tourism industry as it benefits everyone from our taxi drivers, shopkeepers, tour operators all the way to the top of industry. Many people may not acknowledge it, but everyone has the opportunity to benefit whether it is when the passengers come off the cruise ship or when some of them decide to return to

the island for a longer holiday. The Government is also looking at an additional pier as this is the way forward if we are to continue to grow this industry and be able to provide the necessary docking facilities that are needed for these large cruise ships. The Federation has also become involved in promoting and hosting the high profile Twenty20 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket matches, which are very popular throughout the region. This brought many people to the island to watch the semifinals and final last year and for a time put the St. Kitts name at the top of cricket media focus. Six matches are agreed for the 2015 tournament at our stadium at Warren Park where young and old, local and overseas, supporters mix freely and enjoy the sport.

strategy and golf is also an important part of this vision. Kittitian Hill has opened the first nine holes of its new golf course and work is well underway to complete the other nine holes. With beautiful breathtaking views from its elevated location there will never be a bad day on the golf course at Kittitian Hill. The new course compliments the current golf course stock, which includes the Marriott Golf Course and the Four Seasons Course in Nevis. The Marriott and Four Seasons golf courses have been renowned in the golfing world for decades and another course will be added at Christophe Harbour. When completed the four courses will propel St Kitts and Nevis to the top of the Caribbean golf destination ladder and not only attract golf visitors, but give the young people the opportunity to learn this sport and develop their skills.

Promoting Sports tourism is an important part of the government’s overall tourism

Airlift is an important element in developing the economy of any Caribbean island and this


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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE


has been building over the past few years. We currently have American Airlines offering daily flights to the USA and British Airways offering two flights a week to the UK. We also have Delta, US Airways and during the winter months Air Canada comes weekly. You can also travel within the region on LIAT and Seaborne also offers flights to and from Puerto Rico. This has significantly increased the options that are available to travellers to and from the islands.

the Federation as a whole. There are many rental opportunities for property investors as the market includes visitors and employees coming to work for some of the various companies.

There is a wide range of properties available throughout both islands and some magnificent scenery to compliment them. Entering 2015 the starting level was around US$400,000 and the market rises according to your dreams and the depth of your pocket. The government has also extended the opportunities for people to buy properties within the Citizen By Investment (CBI) program and while this is welcomed, it has to be carefully managed to ensure it benefits

dream location full of character, beauty and opportunity and the first step to purchase is to align with a realtor who has the knowledge and experience to find the right property to meet your dreams. Like anywhere in the world, the professional expertise of a sound property advisor to purchase and a good property manager to look after your interests when off island is invaluable.

Buying for either investment or lifestyle doesn’t come any more attractive than in St. Kitts and Nevis. Our relative small size is one of our prize assets and where in the world would you get two more beautiful islands with such stunning scenery? It is a

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

St Kitts is back in Vogue as a Caribbean Hotspot Developer Scott Jaynes feels this is great news for Sundance Ridge…

Scott and Connie Jaynes moved to St. Kitts from Oklahoma after falling in love with the island. Their love has not diminished over the last decade and they remain two of the island’s greatest ambassadors. Warm, friendly and enthusiastic they are the “First Citizens” of Sundance Ridge and discerning developers who want to go that extra mile to please. The impressive Sundance Ridge epitomizes their vision and development philosophy. Scott can be contacted by telephone at 869 762 5978 or by email at scott@ sundanceridgestkitts.com

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Sundance Ridge remains one of the most beautiful settings in the Caribbean. What’s been happening on it and around it in the past 12 months? We have enjoyed working with our latest buyers to design their 10,000 sq. ft. villa. Ground was broken in late 2014 with completion slated for August 2016. Several other prospective buyers have enjoyed tours of the property and are considering purchase. We only have seven building sites left out of a total of 15. When a prospect tours Sundance Ridge the most common word used over and over and over again is “WOW”! What are you offering the potential buyer at this magnificent location?

We offer our buyers a private high-end gated community. We specialize in a complete turnkey experience from villa design, premium quality construction, professional interior design services, and furniture acquisition and placement. It’s authentic one-stop shopping for all our buyers. Does the development qualify under the Citizenship by Investment program? Yes. A Buyer has the option of applying for St. Kitts Economic Citizenship with a real estate purchase in The Estates on Sundance Ridge. If the buyer is not interested in the citizenship option then when he sells his buyer would still have the citizenship option.


Would you agree the international spotlight has returned to St. Kitts with its increased profile from staging top cricket matches, the Citizenship by Investment Program, and the big developments like Christophe Harbour, Park Hyatt Hotel, and Kittitian Hill Resort? Absolutely! Airlift schedules have also increased via American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, and British Airways and this allows more people to come and experience the charm of St. Kitts. With a population of only 35,000 residents there is a genuine friendliness on St. Kitts that is hard to find elsewhere. A lifestyle real estate investment here should afford buyers significant appreciation over the next decade. How will the international spotlight benefit you at Sundance Ridge?

The increased exposure should entice more adventurous people to the island to explore and encounter an island unspoiled by a large population. St. Kitts is “laidback Caribbean” and at Sundance Ridge we certainly agree with that attitude. The development of the Southeast Peninsula and improvements to the infrastructure must be major assets to Sundance Ridge. How much benefit does you feel it all brings? The Southeast Peninsula, where Sundance Ridge is located, is a natural growth area for the island. The new Super Yacht Marina, Park Hyatt Hotel, and Christophe Harbour Golf Course should excite more and more high-end buyers to get serious about investment. Announcement of the rehabilitation of the Southeast Peninsula road is a breath of fresh

air to the developers and current residents of the area. Readers may not appreciate the unique ambience of the view from Sundance Ridge in print, but when you sit on your verandah and look across to lovely Nevis can you visualize what is was like several hundred years ago when Admiral Nelson’s fleet frequently patrolled the waters between the islands? I frequently think about those amazing battles. I’m told there are more than 100 sunken vessels (many of them British and French warships) lying on the sea bottom just below Sundance Ridge. I can almost hear canons in the distance as those sailors from another age battle for the island of St. Kitts (and St. Kitts is still considered the “gem of the Caribbean”).


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

S T. L U C I A

“There’s no time to be bored in a world as

beautiful as this.” 72


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THE LANDINGS - ST LUCIA’S FINEST

THE LAST CHANCE TO BUY WEST COAST BEACHFRONT FREEHOLD... EVER On the island’s best beach, the Landings is St Lucia’s award winning 5 star beachfront development with unrestricted freehold ownership, complete with stunning private marina and wide range of first class amenities. We presently have a mixture of new homes and resale’s available. Marina views from US$450k ~ Beach views from US$1.4m For a private showing please visit: www.landingsvillasales.com or contact us on 1 758 4520422 or mobile: 1 7587160799 or email: michaelg@thelandingsstlucia.com


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

S T. V I N C E N T AND THE GRENADINES


“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder” ~e.b. white


CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

The Beauty of St. Vincent and The Grenadines Local Realtor John Barnard gives an overview of this unique and little known part of the Caribbean and the impact the new Argyle International Airport will have‌

... the new Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent will transform airlift and allow passengers from international destinations to fly direct to the area.

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It is widely felt the people who know most about St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the thousands of sailors who leisurely wind their way around our many little islands throughout the year. This is probably true because the real beauty of the region is best captured by sea or air and we have so many idyllic destinations with coves, bays and lagoons it would be impossible to visit them all. But alongside their exotic settings are colourful communities that exude everything appealing about the wonderful laidback and relaxed culture of the Caribbean. And these communities include residents who have settled here from abroad or who come regularly for holidays.

Buying property in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has many advantages provided you do some careful diligence and you align with experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the business. The islands are small and the number of available properties is not as large as the bigger islands, but that’s what makes this part of the Caribbean so special. It is unspoilt by rampant development and although destinations like Bequia, Canouan and Mustique are better known than the other islands it is largely because of their high profile celebrity owners and visitors. As a result the islands have not lost their beauty or their character.


Up until now everyone travelled to the region by air through connecting flights from larger hub airports, or by ferry or sailing boat. Some of our more affluent visitors also have the luxury of private charter either by sea or air. However, the new Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent will transform airlift and allow passengers from international destinations to fly direct to the area. This will be a huge fillip for our economy and in particular our tourism industry. It will also provide a boost for real estate as more visitors will experience the beauty of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and decide to buy or rent. The real estate product in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

offers many opportunities and properties to suit every pocket. Initially the impact of increased arrivals will boost the rental market, as demand will surely outstrip supply because of limited hotel accommodation. This will be particularly attractive to investment purchasers looking to rent the property when they are not in occupation, but it will also appeal to people buying for lifestyle and personal use as they can expect the value of their property to increase as demand increases.

available properties, including private islands, and a very informative website. We have over 30 years experience in the business and in addition to real estate services we can offer helpful advice on many associated services. We have offices in both St. Vincent and Bequia, but do business all down the islands. We can be contacted by telephone at St. Vincent (784) 458 4613 or in Bequia at (784) 457 5566 or by email at barnardsrealty@gmail.com

The buying and selling process involves the purchase of an Alien’s Land Holding License, but a good attorney will guide the buyer carefully through this process. Barnard’s Realty provides an extensive list of

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

Economic Game Changer for St. Vincent

The new Argyle International Airport being completed in St. Vincent has the potential to completely transform the island’s economy and inject a huge stimulus to the tourism product of its small island neighbours. The visionary project has been at least ten years in the making and initial budgets greatly exceeded, but the end result will be worth the wait if public and private sector combine to capitalize on the massive potential involved. The need for a new airport came about because plans to extend the existing ET Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale proved unworkable.

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The St. Vincent and Grenadines is a beautiful part of the Caribbean, but it largely undeveloped as a tourist destination because of the complex issues surrounding airlift and access. Many visitors have to access the region via hub centres like Barbados, Antigua and Puerto Rico and in the busy world of commuters that can be a major deterrent. However, the new Argyle International Airport will completely change the arrivals landscape and allow aircraft as big as 747s to fly direct from the US, Canada and major European cities. The new facility is a game changer in every sense and a huge personal triumph for the island’s ebullient

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. The Prime Minister has led from the front in this visionary project, which will now cost in the region of US$260 million, a massive burden on such a small island economy. As a result not everyone has been in agreement with his strategy to transform the economy, but over the years public support for the concept has grown and most people now accept it has tremendous economic potential and will put the region on the global tourism map. The population of St. Vincent is around 119,000 and the economy is largely driven by banana production supported by fishing and tourism. Unlike its neighbouring islands Bequia, Canouan and Mustique, St. Vincent has never enjoyed a strong international destination profile although the beauty of the area has been well known within the sailing community for years. That beauty was not lost to the film industry as most of the action from the film “Pirates of the Caribbean-the Curse of the Black Pearl” was shot there in 2002/3 and many of the locals were hired during the shooting. The area is picture postcard beautiful with many small islands, bays, coves and empty beaches making it a magnet for the yachting community. But despite its huge appeal as a tropical paradise, the cumbersome airlift getting there and the competition from bigger and higher profile Caribbean neighbours have always limited the number of visitors. This is a fiercely competitive industry as tourism drives most of the economies of Caribbean islands and they are just as much in competition with their fellow islands as with other parts of the world. St. Vincent is an independent country within the British Commonwealth having won its


Independence in 1979. The island has retained its British heritage for centuries, although it was disputed with France prior to becoming a British Colony. Columbus is credited with naming it St. Vincent although there is no evidence that the lush tropical rainforests and volcanic peaks held much interest to him

many of the main businesses are centred in this area.

as he sought the more lucrative destinations in the Americas that offered the potential for gold and silver. Situated 100 miles west of Barbados between Grenada and St. Lucia it is approximately 18 x 11 miles in size and is part of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands. The volcanic nature of the island has produced black sand although some white sandy beaches are also present. La Soufriere is the largest peak and it last erupted in 1979. Much of the island remains forested and roads are tight and winding, but reaching out to many beautiful little bays and coves. The capital is Kingstown (pop. 25,400) and

eleven much bigger countries across the world willing to support this small island. The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the developer through its subsidiary the International Airport Development Company Ltd. (IADCL www.svgiadc.com). Selecting the site was crucial as topography and weather conditions were major considerations. Three high areas had to be removed, a bridge constructed and two valleys had to be filled. Over 275 acres of land were seconded to provide a 9,000 x 150 foot runway and a modern High-Tec terminal that

Work on the Argyle International Airport officially started in 2005 and the entire project has been a massive construction undertaking involving highly skilled workers and vital funding from at least

will service many associated businesses and over 1.5 million passengers, five times the current figure. These numbers alone highlight the potential impact of international airlift, although the challenge for the public and private sector will be providing the accommodation, activities and amenities to

service such a huge influx of tourists. No project of this magnitude and expense could hope to win 100% support from all the people involved in funding the initiative, but in due course thousands of Vincentians and their neighbouring islands will reap the benefits. It is an economic game changer for the country and a huge legacy left for the benefit of future generations. Yes, there is a heavy cost, but the long-term benefit will greatly outweigh the short-term hardship.

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CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE

OLLIE G O B AT Although it’s diffcult to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. The untimely death of Ollie Gobat in St. Lucia last year brought home the uncertain and fragile nature of life. Ollie was a good friend and business associate with whom we had spent many hours together in the past decade as he built his reputation on the island as an entrepreneur and astute businessman. He was a joint owner of the prestigious Cap Maison Resort and a key figure in the recovery and now ongoing success of the Landings marina development. Ollie loved the island of his birth and was a passionate advocate of everything good about St. Lucia. He was just as passionate about its inadequacies and a strong voice in the war against crime. He was destined for greater things, which is all the more painful to see such a budding talent cut down in its prime. Ollie Gobat was born in St. Lucia, but schooled in England. He loved sport and excelled at cricket, squash and golf. He frequently travelled the world to watch top events and at the time of his death was focused on

representing St. Lucia at squash in the Commonwealth Games. He had discussed coming to Barbados to hone his preparations and we had tentatively arranged some competition. The day he died we had also been in touch to confirm arrangements for delivery of the 2014 edition of Caribbean Property Magazine, which he was eagerly awaiting. He was our expert on St. Lucia real estate and an informative and knowledgeable realtor who always had his finger on the property pulse. We were impressed by his positivity and his vision for a greater future for St. Lucia. He knew he had a contribution to make and always felt he could make things better. Ollie was a kind fun-loving young man with the world at his feet. He never sought popularity, but it was easy to see why so many of his friends and acquaintances were captivated by his warm outgoing personality and soft nature. He loved his family and frequently spoke of them. He also loved his wide circle of friends and the mystery to us was why he had never married. When quizzed he laughed it off with good humour,

Clarence and Pamela Hiles

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but at 38 we detected he had reached a time when he wanted to settle down. We will never forget our good friend Ollie and the indelible imprint he left in our lives and everyone else with whom he came into contact. He was equally at home with the proverbial man in the street as the top people in St. Lucia society. We are also mystified why his death still remains an unsolved mystery and we appeal to everyone connected with the Justice for Ollie Gobat Facebook memorial to continue the fight for justice. We also understand his family are planning to set up a Charitable Foundation in his name at a later date. We will continue to cherish the memory of a wonderful young man who had so much more to give. To his parents Helen and Theo, brothers Rufus and Adam, the other family members and his wide circle of friends including his girlfriend Sherlan, we share your great loss and our prayers are with you forever.


Caribbean Property Magazine

Business & Finance Security Should be a Major Priority NICOLAS HUMPHREY

pg 84

CARLA BOYCE

pg 102

Plenty Happening at Apes Hill Resort

The Current Economic Scene in the Caribbean

pg 88

pg 104

The Business of Insurance

Oran Ltd. Solid Principles

pg 92

pg 108

LINDA WILLIAMS

INGRID INNES

Get Good Advice from a Mortgage Professional ANITA ASHTON

pg 98 84

Buying your Home in the Caribbean

SANJAY AMIN

SCOTT ORAN

Exploring The Complex World of Construction Insurance JAMES PEIRCE

pg 112


Enhancing The Customer Experience

TRACEY KNIGHT LLOYD

pg 118

Globe Finance: Making Inroads with the Financial Services Sector - pg 122 Making Things Happen JIM REID

pg 124


Business

Sercurity SHOULD be a Major PRIORITY

Nicolas Humphrey Divisional Manager at Regional Business Systems Nicolas Humphrey tells us why...

It has been reported property crime is on the increase across the region. Has this been reflected by more enquiries for your security services?

Commercial or Governmental. Once we have agreed on how we can achieve the solution, we work on a package to accomplish the objective.

Yes there have been more queries both for new installations and properties, which have dated or non-functional systems. People have become more proactive with regards to security around their property and with the advent of smart phone apps, property owners can be alerted to alarm conditions almost immediately. Technology has given rise to the ability to see more than we could ten years ago and homeowners are taking advantage of this technology via the Internet.

You have personal experience of working throughout the region. What were the main projects you were involved with?

You have a formidable security unit at Regional Business Systems. What services do you offer? To fully explain what we can offer would make up most of this article so I will condense it as best as I canJust about everything electronic supplied by the security industry. I think that says it all. What is the major factor that gives customer satisfaction with your work? Our solutions. Our philosophy is to provide the client with the right solution that best suits their situation. This means spending time discussing their request and performing detailed analysis of the property be it Residential,

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We worked with Air & Sea Ports in Grenada and Dominica as well as properties like Port St. Charles (Barbados), who have port facilities as part of their services. These types of entities require strict guidelines to be followed in ensuring both access and accountability of persons and equipment is maintained to a high level. To be able to provide the products and services for these clients, we too must keep our standards at a high level. This means commitment to training our staff and keeping abreast of the newest innovations entering the industry. Home security across the region is very ad hoc and many homeowners seem happy with outside dogs and burglar bars. Many have nothing at all. As the criminal becomes more astute are homeowners complacent in the modern era? Most homeowners think about how they can secure their property and yes this usually starts with the


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common burglar bars and a good dog. However “they are always watching� as we put it, so more measures should be utilized. Electronic security is the hidden assistant, because the intruder is not aware of where to look or what to expect. Recently, systems have automation add-ons, which can be programmed to switch on/off lights, TV’s, stereos at unscheduled times, or on alarm conditions so that the intruder might feel someone is present. These devices act as good deterrents and are effective in scaring off unwanted persons.

Are business premises more security conscious? Businesses who operate with high levels of inventory or cash are very conscious about their investments. Whether it is a wholesaler of liquor, retailer of electrical supplies or a banking institution with large sums of cash, all have a vested interest in ensuring steps are taken to secure their property. The medium to small businessperson has also learned that customer satisfaction is linked to a need to feel secure in their environment hence the increased use of CCTV cameras in most establishments.

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...a security assessment of their property. As we are based in Barbados the offer is free to on island clients. other “critical� areas of the property. We recommend that hotels have independent evaluations performed at least once a year to keep in tune with the changing surroundings of their property. Properly maintained surroundings help to enhance the beauty of a hotel, but this sometimes brings change and with this comes opportunities for intruders to take advantage of high risk areas inadvertently created by the hotel. If someone wanted a security survey on their home or commercial property how do they obtain it and is there a charge?

You gave an excellent presentation at a quarterly meeting of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association. (BHTA) Are hotels generally up to pace with all their security requirements? Quite honestly I would have to say no. Some people may challenge my opinion, but in meetings with committees formed to evaluate the security preparedness of most properties, it was apparent that there are areas, which need addressing. What usually happens is the budget does not take these areas into account or they do not see them as high priority due to

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We are happy to engage clients and encourage them to have a security assessment of their property. As we are based in Barbados the offer is free to on island clients. However, for our clients overseas there is a basic fee, which covers the cost of flying and expenses incurred. Does having a home security system reduce the property insurance premium? I have been informed that it is usually built into the price of the policy, but not necessarily shown on the invoice, something that I find interesting. I would have thought that as a selling point it would appear and customers would feel a sense of worth and encouraged to have a system installed.


Business

Plenty Happening at APES HILL Resort Director of Sales, Rentals and Marketing Linda Williams brings readers up-to-date about what’s happening at the Caribbean’s premier golf and polo resort.

Another year down the line Apes Hill still continues to capture the imagination of everyone looking at Barbados real estate. How has the resort progressed in past 12 months?

Linda Williams Director of Sales, Rentals and Marketing

Where do I begin? The start of 2014 brought the great news that we had received the funding to build the Country Club. We celebrated and shared the news. However, it took a little longer than expected to put things in place, but we finally started the building at the end of the year. It will be the first ever genuine Country Club in Barbados. The construction of the tennis courts also started and is now complete. Two impressive Astroturf floodlit courts are now located next to the Country Club. Apes Hill hosted the inaugural “Classical Pops” in Barbados in early December. An event that was touted as “an event to remember.” This was the first of a three-year plan to host the event at Apes Hill. The Inaugural “Polo Under The Stars” at the end of March was an Epic event and the first of its type in the Caribbean. The Golf course has been busy with over 30 member events being held. The big tournaments were

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the inaugural Sir Charles Williams Invitational, followed by the Virgin Atlantic International Finals. It has been an absolute pleasure to see several beautiful homes completed in the last year and more starting in 2015. Apes Hill is coming alive before our eyes. The winter season has seen a significant increase in our villa rentals and on the sales side we have introduced a new product called “The Courtyard Villa.” You can now purchase a 3-bedroom detached villa on the 18th hole for US$1.3 million, which includes a Golf Membership and fees for the first year. These villas are proving to be very popular, and are being sold off plan with delivery in 12 months. The views at Apes Hill are stunning and many people believe the resort will eventually become the most prestigious address in the Caribbean. What are the attractive real estate offers that are available in 2015? There are a number of amazing properties offering not only stunning views, but views that are unique and not available anywhere else on the island. The new Courtyard Villas have attracted a lot of interest and the large detached homes are still very popular. We can build the home of your choice in 12 months so now is a great time to start building to coincide with the completion of the Country Club. We are well


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The sporting enthusiasts love to stay at Apes Hill close to the horses and the golf course,

known for our service excellence and quality build so what a great time to join the Apes Hill residential family. There has always been a heavy emphasis on conservation and environmental sensitivity at Apes Hill. How has this added to the ambience and the beauty of the environs? Within the first year of operation the Audubon Society certified the golf course, which is quite an achievement. This has increased our natural beauty, and the amount of wildlife and birds on the property. The grass that is used on the golf course flourishes with less water usage while keeping a deep green colour. Also, we are only building on 35% of the land, leaving the remaining 65% to golf and nature. This is one of the most sought after things in the world. The excellent polo and golf facilities have ensured a high

profile for the resort. Are more and more visitors coming specifically to enjoy these facilities and how has your rental program been developed? You are absolutely correct! More visitors are coming to stay with us in our rental villas so that they can learn to play polo or golf. Our Polo School is doing very well with people from all over the world coming for lessons and to take part in chukkas and tournaments. We are experiencing the same thing with golfers. The sporting enthusiasts love to stay at Apes Hill close to the horses and the golf course, knowing that they are playing on one of the best golf courses and polo fields in the world while restaurants, shopping and the beach are a mere 10 minutes down the hill. The increasing demand for accommodation has encouraged homeowners to rent their homes through our rental programme

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enjoy the facilities, the competition and the unique polo ambience of Apes Hill. With the new tennis facilities and a magnificent Country Club coming on stream this year what other amenities and facilities are being planned for the future?

while they are not in the island to generate additional income and enhance their return on Investment. The golf course is world class and offers some magnificent views of the island and as a result the resort has added another dimension to the island’s overall golf product. Are you conscious of the important global role that Apes Hill Resort plays in promoting sports tourism in Barbados?

the new Country Club will be the icing on the cake when completed,

I must admit, it continues to surprise me. We are regularly contacted by people from all over the world, who have all heard about Apes Hill Club and want to have the opportunity to play the course, stay with us and experience the high level of service we provide. We love the fact that there are other good golf courses on the island that align with us to make Barbados a quality golfing destination. An annual favourite is the Sir Garfield Sobers Tournament that allows golfers to play four different courses over four days including Apes Hill. Our polo reputation is just as strong and we are now well known across the polo world, which means many visitors come here to

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In addition to the tennis courts the Country Club will have generous locker rooms, a professional shop, restaurant and bar, all overlooking the idyllic West Coast. For the fitness-conscious person there will be a lap pool, that waterfalls down into the resort swimming pool and a Fitness Centre. For the future, we are also planning a very special spa that will be located in a tranquil part of the development where nature is felt most. Like many high-end real estate lifestyle resorts all over the world Apes Hill has endured tough times and is coming out the stronger for it. Do you feel the market is improving both with your real estate sales and your rental program? The last few years have certainly been a challenge for everyone worldwide. We are one of the few resorts that have made it through the tough times and we are definitely seeing an improvement in the market. We are proud to say that we have continued to sell property through the lean times and the new Country Club will be the icing on the cake when completed, as it will boost both rentals and sales. The fact that our rental occupancies have increased this year by more than 40% says it all. We feel Apes Hill is top of the list of “Bests� -for golf course, polo field, rentals, properties, views, nature, landscaping. It does not get any better. Come and see for yourself.


Business

The Business of Insurance

ICBL Managing Director Ingrid Innes outlines the Company’s visionary plans and some challenges within the Industry... What are the major challenges facing the Insurance Industry in the Caribbean these days? There are three issues impacting the industry:

Ingrid Innes Managing Director ICBL

a) The first is the shrinking and struggling economies that have caused an overall downturn in absolute amounts of insurance needed and purchased. As volumes decrease, some competing insurers have dropped prices in order to attempt to retain their volumes through increased market share. This in turn leads to less profitable business which impacts companies’ income and ultimately their balance sheets. The silver lining here is that for a short while, consumers will be paying less. b) Lack of suitable investment opportunities. Insurance companies by their nature keep substantial reserves on hand to pay future claims. The amount of these reserves are mandated by regulators and are developed annually by actuaries. These reserves need to be invested in a prudent and effective manner. As the economies have slowed and global interest rates have plummeted companies are hard pressed to find appropriate

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investments and this would have caused a reduction in investment income. Investment Income is an important factor contributing to the overall income of an insurance company and this puts pressure on pricing and is forcing insurance companies to greatly improve operational efficiency by becoming more automated.. Once again there is a silver lining as these new efficiencies are driving customer-centric initiatives that will deliver both better outcomes for our clients and provide long term productivity gains for insurers. c) Another issue facing our industry is the high number of Insurance Companies operating in Barbados in the general insurance sector relative to the size of population. Competition is great but some of the smaller companies may not be able to achieve the scale for efficient operations and because of this the industry may be ripe for consolidation. Consolidation usually results in improved scale of operations which can lead to further productivity gains which ultimately have a positive impact on companies and more importantly, the end consumer. The whole culture of insurance is one where the customer often feels they are


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paying for a service they may never need. Is this a fair assumption and can the industry do more to promote the benefits whether tangible or not? Well in fact we actually hope that customers don’t need the benefits as if they do, that means something has gone wrong or badly for them. Having said that, we are in the business of paying claims and providing benefits of literally 10s of millions each year to our customers. But importantly insurance is about confidence. Consider: would you invest in a property or develop a property that was not insured? Would you be comfortable knowing you could lose your entire investment if a chance fire, flood or storm ruined the development? How many

families with a deceased breadwinner could afford to stay in the family home with a mortgage payment that was based on two incomes? Insurance allows people and businesses to plan and invest for their future with confidence. Certainly as an industry we could do a better job of communicating the benefits in total. Consumers should know that the industry pays out 100s of millions each year. Going without insurance is in essence assuming a risk yourself or self-insuring. This is not a viable or practical option for most consumers. Could most people pay for the rebuilding of their home that was destroyed by a fire? Insurance is a wonderful financial vehicle that allows those risks to be transferred to us - with peace of mind.

There is always the feeling that the good customers are paying higher premiums because of the bad customers. Is there any way benefits or concessions can be given to loyal customers similar to the No Claims concession with car insurance? The whole philosophy of insurance is risk sharing where each customer pays a little (the premium) so that those that claim can receive a lot (the benefit). Proper pricing and underwriting considers the risk profile of the insured. For example, it is known that young females as a whole are safer drivers than young males. That is why we offer a significant discount to female drivers. The key however is having the data to make these distinctions - unfortunately it does not always exist.

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So too should a healthy individual pay less than an unhealthy person for their life insurance. Mortality rates do differ significantly by gender, smoking status and build. A healthy, non-smoking female would pay substantially less (as much as half ) than an obese smoking male. Clearly there is a difference in life expectancy and that is reflected in the cost. This is what Underwriting is all about and is something that all insurers take very seriously. We value all of our customers but especially our long term customers by offering a Loyalty Discount program on the Property and Casualty business where we do provide discounts to our customers who have been with our company for over five years. We are in the process of enhancing this program to make it even more meaningful to our customers. You have visionary plans to grow ICBL business in the future. What changes are you going to introduce? ICBL is a wonderful company with a deep heritage in Barbados. We’ve grown from our roots as a Statutory Corporation working primarily with government and government employees to a viable leading commercial insurer able to compete effectively in all markets. Over the past three years we have devoted a substantial amount of our resources into new, innovative technology platforms. Our world is now digital and we are embracing that change as we become more and more customer-centric. Our products and services will become more accessible in whatever way our customers want: in person, through our

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quality professional agents and brokers, via telephone, on-line, mobile and through their workplace. We want to do business in the way our customers chose. Those that know me know that I constantly ask our team: “What does this mean to our customer? How will (a decision) impact them?” Our customers’ expectations are shaped not only by our competitors but by the total of their consumer experiences. If I can buy something on Amazon in minutes and track the delivery, shouldn’t I come to expect that same experience from all firms with whom I do business? Our customer’s service demands are changing and we must not only meet them but anticipate them and provide them proactively. ICBL is well known in Barbados, but not seen as one of the big players in Caribbean Insurance. Is this a fair reflection of where the company currently stands and is size relevant? Well, not only are we well known, but for many lines of business we are the market leader here in Barbados. I’m proud of our success and the fact that the company has been prudently managed and has one of the strongest balance sheets of any insurer in the Caribbean. As to the rest of the Caribbean, we are part of the BF&M Insurance Group, comprised of BF&M based in Bermuda, Island Heritage based in the Cayman Islands and of course ICBL here in Barbados. Together we are by far one of the largest groups and cover most every jurisdiction in the Caribbean. If we were one brand we’d be better known and consumers would know of our


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A strong industry allows individuals, corporations, governments to make plans and invest with confidence...

size. If what you say is true, I guess we better step up and tell our story better! Many of our corporate customers do business in multiple jurisdictions and require multicountry coverage’s. Together with our sister companies we are able to provide them with the regional coverage’s they require. Further, our combined group financial strength and overall capacity is recognized by the preeminent rating agency, AM Best, by granting us the highest rating in the entire Caribbean.

company. More specifically however there are coverages that when bundled allow us to offer a meaningful discount. For example if coverage A was $100 and coverage B $200 then bundling might allow us to offer them at a total of only $250. More importantly than just cost however is the improved customer experience. Rather than having to develop two or more relationships, we can service our customers with just one call.

Are there advantages to having all your insurance needs captured within the ICBL portfolio?

As we develop more innovating coverages we are looking to extend this philosophy to a broader range of our offerings as we further embrace and roll out the technologies in which we’ve been investing.

Well of course I have to say yes to that as I truly believe in our

Finally, if you could change one thing in your industry at

the flick of a switch what would it be? One word: Accountable. We have many regulations in Barbados that have been built up over the years by learning from some of the best regulated countries in the world. It is important that our regulators continue to fairly and firmly enforce these regulations for the benefit and safety of all. Furthermore there needs to be accountability in claims and appropriate limits set in order to develop actuarially sound pricing that ensures a strong, viable industry. A strong industry allows individuals, corporations, governments to make plans and invest with confidence that if something happens that their insurance will restore their position.

Ingrid Innes is the Managing Director and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL). She has been in the industry for over 30 years and has a distinguished career that included service in Canada, United States and Bermuda. She is highly regarded as an innovative and results driven leader with an impressive track record of success. She holds an MBA degree in Business Administration and an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Management (AGDM). Ingrid can be contacted by telephone at 246 434 6075 or by email at IInnes@icb.com.bb 98


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Get Good Advice from A Mortgage Professional Mortgage Broker Anita Ashton explains... Of all the questions asked of a Caribbean Mortgage Broker by non-residents the most common by far is “What can you do for me that I can’t do myself?” The temptation is always to say “everything,” but diplomacy prevails and the answer is usually the first step in a customer’s education on lending in the Caribbean.

Anita Ashton, Managing Director of Caribbean Mortgage Services

Most non-residents seeking to purchase in the Caribbean come from either North America or Europe and the limited product range has been tailored to that market. That’s not to say other nationalities cannot be accommodated, but the key lenders in the region are from North American so there is a comfort zone in dealing with applicants from the same country. British applicants are also acceptable largely because credit reports and verifications are easily obtained. Applicants from outside these territories may be accepted, but they may need additional verifications and perhaps some assistance with language issues. The second home market in the Caribbean is rebuilding after seven years of negligible growth, although the pace of rejuvenation varies from location to location. A lot has happened in those seven

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years and many of the pre-2008 buyers have fallen by the wayside as their fortunes and businesses were enveloped in global recession. Even the tried and tested retiree market took a severe lick as many pensions suffered in the demise that brought big finance houses and governments to their knees. The road back has been tough, but slowly and surely a new generation of second homebuyer and retiree is emerging. And the new potential buyer is a much more discerning and astute purchaser because the past seven years has made him streetwise and extremely cautious. We don’t live in the past but we can learn from it. Mortgage lending to non-residents in the pre2008 era wasn’t too difficult and for mortgage brokers it was more a case of pre-vetting an application, and if all looked bankable then collating the information required and submitting it to the lender offering the most suitable product. Processing was slow, but the presence of a good mortgage broker on the ground ensured it got preferential treatment. Seven years down the lines things are a lot more tedious and the terms and conditions have significantly tightened. On the positive side lenders are still lending and interest rates are lower, but on the


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negative side processing is still slow, loan-to-value percentages have dropped, most of the approvals are now done off island at either Head Office or a Processing Unit and verifications are meticulously scrutinised. Lending Officers have no discretion and the importance of getting all your applications papers in place has never been greater. Yes, there are plenty of so-called professionals who will offer financial advice as an ancillary to their normal field of expertise, but if they are not in the mortgage market they will know very little of the culture change that has taken place. However, all is not lost for the non-resident buyer as a good mortgage broker can take all of the hassle and stress out of the

purchase if they are engaged early in the buying process. The broker can guide a potential buyer on what might be available in mortgage funding and if they don’t qualify they will save the purchaser a lot of unnecessary stress by telling them upfront. The broker should educate the applicant from the outset that while the mortgage systems may be similar to their homeland the process is much more selective. Competition is limited in this niche market and it is more a question of whether the lender wants the applicant than the applicant bringing them business. Caribbean lenders are conservative, risk averse and in the current climate unwilling to bend

the rules. Some negotiation may be possible on interest rates at the top end of the market, but it has to be a quality case to be considered. In simple terms loan-to-values in early 2015 were in the 60-65% range and US$ interest rates in the 4-4.5% range with repayment terms as long as 30 years. Some preferential terms are available to returning Barbados nationals, but before a non-resident buyer commits to anything they should engage the services of a mortgage broker. And remember the selling agent, the taxi driver, the barman and the lawyer are not experts in mortgages. The best advice they could give you is to seek the services of a good mortgage broker!

Anita Ashton is the Managing Director of Caribbean Mortgage Services and has over 30 years experience in UK and Caribbean Banking. She has placed numerous loans for non-residents purchasing in the Caribbean region and is based in Barbados. She can be contacted by telephone at 246 230 5824 or by email at anita@caribbeanmortgages.com 101


Cell: 246 230 5824 Email: anita@caribbeanmortgages.com or clarence@caribbeanmortages.com


Discover the possibilities of a home in the Caribbean. We can help you, whether you’re in the market for a mortgage, lot loan or a home builder loan. Mortgage financing up to a maximum of 25 years Flexibility to meet when it’s convenient for you Property and related insurance products Online mo rtgage calculators TM

barbados.scotiabank .com Discover what’s possible

™Trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).


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Buying your home in the Caribbean Scotiabank’s US Dollar Mortgages make it convenient for non-residents

Carla Boyce

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of a vacation home in an exotic location? Visitors to the Caribbean are attracted by more than a balmy climate and crystal waters – they find a stable political structure, friendly citizens and a relaxing lifestyle. Many return year after year and eventually commit to owning a home in the region. A wide variety of home ownership options exist: single family detached or semi-detached, townhouse or condominium. The homebuyer can choose from new communities or more established neighbourhoods closer to the main towns, dramatic rural views or beachfront property. The prospect of purchasing property in a foreign country may seem daunting but a good financial partner can help guide the homebuyer through the process. Scotiabank is one of Canada’s most successful banks with an unparalleled international presence. The bank has been in the Caribbean since 1889, and its stability and reputation make Scotiabank a financial provider of choice for visitors from Canada, the US and UK, looking to purchase a vacation home. The International Vacation Home Buyers Programme at Scotiabank facilitates overseas buyers with a US Dollar mortgage. “It is designed for US, UK or Canadian residents purchasing a

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second home for personal use,” says Carla Boyce, International Private Banker, Scotia Private Client Group. “Other nationals are considered on an exception basis.” The Scotia Private Client Group typically handles mortgages over US$500,000 for applicants who meet the Group’s criteria whereas mortgages under US$500,000 are handled by Carolann Walkes, Scotiabank’s Mortgage Specialist. Buyers can borrow up to 70% of the property value, and amortization is up to a maximum of 25 years. Attractive three year and five year fixed rates are available. “Some buyers prefer to purchase land and build the home of their dreams,” notes Carolann Walkes. A residential lot purchase can be financed up to US$750,000, up to 50% of property value and amortized up to 15 years. Scotiabank offers financing on vacation home construction up to 70% of the property value, up to US$1.5 million and 65% over US$1.5 million up to US$2.5 million. Costs may include land, architect and contractor fees, permits, land development and landscaping, materials and construction, utility connection and related fees. The purchaser pays monthly interest payments only during the construction. Once completed, the loan is converted into a residential mortgage.


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The International Vacation Home Buyers Programme at Scotiabank facilitates overseas buyers with a US Dollar mortgage.

Mortgage properties must be located in a master plan project, developed by established real estate developers known to the Bank. Building specs must meet hurricane grade standards. Criteria for the International Vacation Home Programme include that the home must be a secondary home or vacation residence for personal use, an appraisal report will be acquired by Scotiabank, and a Credit Bureau report is required. The applicant must have verified income supported by tax returns and only personal income will be considered.

It is reassuring for visitors that the banking sector in the Caribbean is reputable and there are strong institutions like Scotiabank, which can offer guidance and attractive terms for the second homebuyer. So if you’re sitting on the beach wishing you could spend more time on your favourite island, why not consider an island home? “Thousands of visitors own their homes in the Caribbean, often returning several times a year with family and friends to enjoy a lifestyle that really is very special,� says Carla Boyce.

Carla Boyce has a wealth of banking experience having worked in Retail, Corporate and Premium Banking for nine years in Barbados before joining the Scotia Private Client Group team in March 2013. Prior to relocating to Barbados, she worked in the United States after finishing her MBA with specializations in Finance and Management. Carla can be reached by telephone at 246-417-2024 or by email at carla.boyce@scotiabank.com 105


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The Current Economic Scene in the Caribbean

BCQS Director Sanjay Amin gives his insight.

You are a professional involved in many aspects of business across the Caribbean. What is your opinion on the general economic position of the region as compared to the start of 2014?

Sanjay Amin, Director of BCQS

With the UK and us coming out of a recession, there are definitely positive signs for the construction industry and the real estate sector. in Barbados, we feel that the 3rd/4th quarter of this year will yield some good news. The economies of most of the OECS countries are still in the balance but we hope that there will be a pick up in 2016. The Turks and Caicos resort market is showing some positive signs as is the market in the Cayman Islands. Guyana and Trinidad continue to do well. Many residential and commercial construction projects either stalled or disappeared post-2008. Is there evidence that they are coming back? Yes, there are several resort projects in Turks and Caicos that are alive again and I believe that some of the stalled projects in Barbados may come back in the latter part of 2015 or early 2016. most of the funding for these

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projects is coming from private equity type companies and not from large established banks who are still nervous about the resort sector. The canadian banks are still apprehensive but the indigenous banks especially the Trinidadian banks are still willing to “take a look”. Banks operating in the region have taken a severe hit in recent times and as a result they have reduced their lending, downsized their operations and introduced a tough lending culture, which has made it very difficult for businesses and customers to bounce back. Are banks part of the problem or part of the solution to economic recovery? There was a very good article written in the Globe and Mail about the amount of debt that the Canadian banks had to write off in the Caribbean in the last recession. The percentage of impaired or “troublesome” loans for these banks was very high in the Caribbean and was disproportionate to the total impaired loans for these financial institutions. This has certainly rung alarm bells amongst their shareholders who may be questioning whether the Canadian


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opened or expanded their operations? why is there such inconsistency?

It is too soon to state whether the uk or the us is experiencing sustained economic recovery due to the contuing policy of loose monetary policy.

banks should still operate in the Caribbean. So to answer this question, banks in my opinion will become part of the solution but it will take time to bring back the confidence of the heady days that existed pre 2008. Tourism is at the core of Caribbean economic prosperity and although there have been mixed results across the region in the past 12 months there are plenty of positive signs. Has the hospitality industry come to terms with adversity and now making the all-important changes necessary to prosper in challenging times? I think that the hospitality industry has had to do a lot of thinking over the last 6-7 years but it is quite testing to make changes whilst there are challenges to raise finance. however, I think that the last six months have shown that occupancy levels and adr’s are on the increase and we should see the hotels doing more to make the necessary changes especially in Barbados. Many hotels have closed but at the same time others have

The hotel market continues to face challenges in the face of stiff competition from both the region and internationally. It is a very competitive market place and those hotels with internationally recognised brands and economies of scale are in a position to expand. Smaller hotel companies or family owned hotels have greater challenges raising finance and are unlikely to be able to compete on advertising or marketing spend. This creates a cycle of reducing revenues, which in turn hits the bottom line resulting in a lack of capital expenditure on the product, which makes the hotel less competitive. Have property values bottomed out and perhaps starting to rise in some areas or is it too early to make this call? “Nobody rings a bell at the bottom of a bear market� goes the old wall street adage. It is very diffucult to identify a bottom in the market and these are only usually seen in hindsight. The market continues to face many challenges. It is too soon to state whether the UK or the US is experiencing sustained economic recovery due to the contuing policy of loose monetary policy. The eurozone has only recently followed suit with their own quantative easing programme, so this is likely to improve asset prices and confidence in this region as well. However, if market sentiment and confidence continue to improve, then this will have a positive impact on demand and will help sustain a more healthy property market. Prices in some other countries are showing a minor increase especially Cayman Islands and

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Turks and Caicos Islands. As stated previously, some of the oecs countries are still experiencing difficulties and prices still remain static. Meanwhile, in the oil rich state of Trinidad, property prices have increased in the last two years.

or company can be audited by the regulations division of the RICS for compliance with internationally recognised valuation standards (red book). This is a major step taken by the RICS and there are only a few countries in the world that have adopted such rigorous standards.

You are heavily involved in formalizing and raising the standards in your profession. Has anything significant happened in the past 12 months to enhance the process?

Also, the RICS recently introduced the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) in conjunction with several international bodies including the IMF and the Appraisal Institute in the US. The challenge at the moment is that measurement of areas for the purposes of valuation or leases for commercial properties varies from country to country and in some cases especially in the Caribbean, in individual countries. IPMS will aim to resolve these challenges that the global real estate market currently faces.

Yes, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors recently made registration mandatory for all valuers operating in the region. This should increase quality and accuracy of valuations while increasing consumer confidence in the profession. Being on the valuer registration scheme for an RICS surveyor means that an individual

Sanjay Amin, BSc, FRICS, ACIArb, Director of the BCQS Group based in Barbados. Sanjay has been providing project and cost management services since the mid-eighties working for Gardiner & Theobald in London and throughout the Caribbean working for BCQS since 1997. He is responsible for the Eastern Caribbean region, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago and has worked on a variety of projects including commercial, residential, resort, and public sector related work.Sanjay is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is the Caribbean Board Chairman. He was recently appointed to the RICS Global Governing Council. The council is collectively responsible for setting the long-term direction for RICS that will shape the future of the profession. He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London.He can be contacted by telephone at 246 428 8091 or by email at samin@bcqs.com

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PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS CHARTERED QUANTITY SURVEYORS PROJECT AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT REAL ESTATE VALUERS AND APPRAISERS

L O C A L

K N O W L E D G E

:

G L O B A L

E X P E R I E N C E

PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS THROUGHOUT LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Barbados Office I Orena I St. Lawrence Main Road I Christ Church I Barbados I T 1 246 428 8091 I E infobarbados@bcqs.com BAHAMAS BARBADOS BERMUDA BRAZIL BVI CAYMAN ISLANDS COLOMBIA GUYANA JAMAICA PANAMA ST LUCIA TRINIDAD TURKS & CAICOS


Business

ORAN LTD. Solid Principles

Scott Oran explains the background to Oran Limited’s success and its culture going forward... Oran Limited reached a highly commendable milestone in 2014 with 50 years in business. What does this mean for the company?

Scott Oran, CEO Oran Limited

The term milestone simply does not do justice to this achievement, nor does it communicate the company's sense of continuity as we look towards the future. To use a manufacturing term, our performance has been that of a continuous work in progress building on a strong foundation and not only working hard, but also working smart. We continue to seek ways to develop our potential to the benefit of our employees, the community in which we live and operate and on a larger scale, to positively contribute to the sustainability of our economy. The company has been established and developed within a strong family structure. Has this been a major contributory factor in your success? Oran Ltd's profile as a family business has created a uniquely tangible connection between the owners, employees and customers that you may not find in a more "corporate" like structure of ownership and management. We enjoy a reputation among our

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stakeholders as being both individually, at the employee level and collectively, at the organizational level, committed to doing the very best we can - it's a very personal and heartfelt desire to create the best results for all concerned. Oran products are well known throughout the Caribbean region. Where is your business strongest and do you see further openings in other destinations? We recognize that we possess a strategic advantage in the CARICOM markets, when compared to extra-regional suppliers of similar products. Therefore, we endeavour to increase our market share in these markets and expand our product offering to effectively cater to this niche. In addition to our experience in manufacturing, the range of products used in the region allows us to value engineer these products, so that they typically perform better than comparable imported products. How have the tough economic conditions of the last 5-6 years impacted on your business? The period 2007 through 2014 has been very challenging for our


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We manufacture standard and custom products, upvc and aluminum, multiple frame colours, various glass specifications, custom designed structures for the most discriminating architects in the region...

industry. However, we have taken the opportunity to expand some of our services to satisfy more diverse customer needs. We introduced new products that cater to a more sophisticated consumer and reduced our margins on our range of lower cost commodity products used at all levels of the construction industry in order to be more competitive. This was all done while maintaining the high quality image associated with the "Oran" brand. What we've done is similar to the approach taken by Mercedes, which caters to the higher end of the market with its 'S' Class models while simultaneously catering to the lower end with its more affordable 'B' and 'C' Classes. You have a wide range of PVC and aluminum products, but which products have contributed most to your success?

The wide range of solutions we offer to the construction industry demonstrates our strength. We manufacture standard and custom products, upvc and aluminum, multiple frame colours, various glass specifications, custom designed structures for the most discriminating architects in the region, sunshades, bridges, walk ways, railings, fences, ornamental gates, security bars, products for marine application and so many more. Where are your manufactured?

products

Our factory is in Barbados, with two locations close to the Deep Water Harbour, which enables us to efficiently distribute our products through a large network of hardware, building & lumber stores throughout the Caribbean.

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only 16% of companies founded 100 years ago still exist today.

Investment in staff appears to be a high priority in the company’s strategy. How has that been achieved? The personal and professional development of the people in our organization ranks very high on our list of priorities. We have many persons who join us straight out of school with very basic skills, so we strive to promote a culture of productivity within the organization. We say to them, "Be who you want to be when you are not at work, but once you walk through those doors and put on your Oran shirt, you become a part of our culture. You become the

representative of a work ethic that will be admired and modeled by your peers." Finally, where would you like to see Oran Limited in 50 years time? My answer to this question has to do with a goal that I was recently introduced to - “We want to be one of the 16%.” There is a statistic that only 16% of companies founded 100 years ago still exist today. While we will certainly not be doing the same things that we are today, we believe that innovation, creativity, and hard work will take us to that next level.

Scott Oran is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oran Limited, a company founded by his parents Marshall and Anita Oran. He is a visionary and dynamic businessman within the Caribbean manufacturing industry and a strong advocate of making the best use of technology and broadening the company’s product range. He has strong family values and a determination to ensure Oran Ltd. remains at the forefront of the industry going forward. Scott can be contacted by telephone at 246 436 6863 or by email at info@oranltd.com

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Business

Exploring the complex world of Construction Insurance Experienced Insurance Broker James Peirce gives a comprehensive overview of what should be considered...

James Peirce, Director Lynch Insurance Brokers

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So you have just bought a piece of land and are busy planning to build your dream home? Or maybe you own an existing house that is in need of some refurbishment? Chances are you are busy meeting with your architect and contractor to see how to make your dream property become a reality, but what if things don’t go according to plan? For many of us the plan is very simple, to transform our lifelong dream into a reality, and to do that we hire a team of experts to help make this happen. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and it begs the question of whether you have properly considered this in your plan? For many of us, the answer is no. The reason for this is that building a home is often one of the largest financial risks a person will take in their life, and in order to “take the plunge” into what is often an extended period of debt, people often tune out negative thoughts in the early stages in order to get themselves over the line mentally. In so doing, security considerations for the project such as insurance often get overlooked during this period of indecision and information overload. Fortunately, we have some checks along the way that force us to consider these negatives such as our bankers if we have a mortgage, our project managers and our lawyers. These professionals quite often do a good

job at forcing the issue, but due to timing, we often find that not enough attention is paid to the details of the insurance that may have been arranged. It is also no coincidence that building contractors and professionals are traditionally required to provide various levels of security such as bonds and insurance cover, since the nature of their job sees them undertaking massive risks that they could not be reasonably expected to cover on their own without external help from insurers and finance houses. In addition, even when insurance is placed, unless the owner gets involved personally or has a competent party such as an experienced insurance broker working on their behalf, coverage is often placed based on the primary needs of the party insuring the same as opposed to the interests of the principal. This gap in interests can often be closed considerably with well worded contracts such as the FIDIC and JCT forms, but even these may need amending to suit particular risks, and less cumbersome forms like our local BIA minor works forms are a great start but may still require some help. So where to start? Well as the famous quote goes “... at the beginning”.


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There are a few basic steps to consider when considering a Construction Project: • Identify the various risk areas which impact the project from four perspectives: financial, strategic, operational and hazard. • Design and negotiate a costeffective, custom-made insurance program tailored to your needs; • Mitigate through loss-control, disaster planning and crisis management programs across the risk priorities identified to prevent and/or reduce the impact of losses before it is too late and co-ordinate the claims management process that will help mitigate the cost of incidents.

approach encouraged at a planning and contractual level. Risks should be borne by the party most suited to mitigate them, and with a proper risk assessment any gaps in cover can be bridged.

How should you insure? A blanket project specific CAR insurance policy and/or a Wrap-up general liability policy covering the combined interests of all interested parties is often desirable as it offers a broader scope of cover to include persons often overlooked when attempts are made to name everyone specifically. Many construction companies have annual CAR policies, which are better suited for smaller works, and

Material Damage coverage is generally written on an ‘All Risks’ basis, which entails that all risks of physical loss or damage are covered subject to certain exclusions listed therein. The Sums Insured on the Contractors All Risks Policy need to be arrived at by assessing, and where applicable, including separate sums insured for the Value of the Contract Works (Replacement cost including all VAT and duties) which would include all permanent and temporary works forming part of the Contract Works including site huts and building materials. Your contractor may also require cover for Existing Structures, Constructional Plant, Tools and Equipment not otherwise insured,

The Main Areas of Insurance to be considered are as follows: • Contractor’s All Risks Insurance and General Liability cover • Employers Liability • Bonds for areas of financial risk • Professional Indemnity cover for design and consultants Contractor’s All Risks Insurance (CAR) and General Liability Insurance The traditional approach to insurance has been to pass it along to someone lower down the chain, and this is reflected in many forms of construction contracts where contractors are required to take out insurance on the works up to the point of practical completion. There are, however, some problems with this approach, and most stem from the difficulties inherent in you not being in a position to determine the extent and efficacy of the coverage that has been arranged for your benefit. A risk Management approach, however, will see all stakeholders consulted and a team

these can be modified to protect the financial interest of the principal and creditors. This can be done through naming these parties as named or additional insured’s depending on which is more beneficial.

while you should consider including cover for Removal of Debris (remove, dismantle, demolish insured property), Professional Fees, Clean Up Costs (of uninsured Debris), 1% Stamp Duty that is levied on claims, and possibly Expediting Expenses.

What is Insured? In general, a Contractors All Risks Insurance Policy will insure the insured party or parties against Material Damage to the insured Contract Works as well as General Liabilities connected to the project.

Liability to Third Parties also needs careful consideration, and generally this Section of any CAR policy provides cover for accidental bodily injury to any person as well as accidental damage to property subject to your chosen limits of

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liability and various exclusions. The setting of your Limit of Liability in respect of any one claim or number of claims arising out of one occurrence, as well as the aggregate limit, is a matter that needs to be carefully evaluated. Do not rely on ‘Industry Standard’ or legal minimum to guide you. Assess your own exposure and speak with your attorney and broker to guide you on a sum that strikes a balance between the likely cost of your exposure and resulting premium. There are also many Common Exclusions such as Defective Workmanship & Faulty Design, Damage Loss or Liability arising out

what additional risks can be covered and how it might be achieved. Pay special attention as well to any policy deductibles, and decide who is to be responsible for these amounts in the event of a claim. For example, a standard deductible for a hurricane loss would be 2% of the sum insured, which on a $5M house would equate to $100,000. Be clear on whether you or your building contractor will absorb this and structure your insurance policy accordingly.

part of the insured is established. There is no legal requirement to have Employers Liability Insurance cover in many jurisdictions such as Barbados so you need to not only be careful about your own cover, but also check that companies doing work for you have the same in place with adequate limits. There are also intricacies to consider that a good broker will help you with such as the standard exclusion of liability to employees working at heights over 30’ that may need to be extended. BONDS

Care also needs to be taken with any Warranties and restrictive Conditions, which can have the

As mentioned earlier, the financial security of the parties whom you entrust your funds with to build your property is a key concern, and Bonds help fill this gap in traditional insurance covers. You should note that Bonds are NOT Insurance – Bonds are financial guarantees issued by a credit institution to cover specific financial obligations, and in the event a bond is called, the amount called must still be repaid by the Contractor. Insurance companies and Commercial Banks are common sources of Bonds for building Contractors and other parties working on projects since the vagaries of the business often demands that security over and above the reputation of the company to perform is needed. The main types of Bonds that you may consider for a construction project are:

of Vibration or the withdrawal or weakening of support, Flood, Fumes and Pollution, Professional Negligence, Employee Injury and Fire and Explosion Liability to name but a few. Many of these, along with additional covers such as Cross Liabilities and Goods In Transit, can be brought back into a policy for sometimes additional premium and/or compliance with certain risk management terms so a good broker will be able to guide you on

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Employers’ Liability Insurance

Bid Bonds (AKA Tender Bonds): Often required by Tenders as a means of ensuring that candidates are serious about the process and will be penalized for the costs associated with the process should they fail to proceed with the award of the contract.

This simply covers your legal liability to your Employees arising out of negligence. This is not medical insurance, so a claim will only be settled if negligence on the

Performance Bonds: A type of surety bond often required of Contractors as a means of guaranteeing the satisfactory completion of a project. Bonded

effect of rendering the entire policy null and void if breached, and in the case of Warranties, even if the breach has nothing to do with the loss suffered!


Business Engineers, Architects, Quantity Surveyors and the like to perform work for them. Care needs to be taken to ensure that you understand the risks that exist, but also the costs associated, and make sure your insurers are informed of the various roles and that cover extends to each of them. Do not depend on any legislation to protect you from professionals who lack this type of cover, as even where it is mandated, it is often ridiculously low as in the case of insurance Brokers in Barbados where the current requirement is only $1,000,000.00 in cover. At Lynch we carry $40,000,000.00 in cover.

amounts vary from 10% to 20% of the contract sum, and seek to provide an award to the principal for losses up to the bonded amount. Advance Payment Bonds: A type of surety bond to cover the mobilization fee paid to the contractor and covering the eventuality that he should fail to deliver on the contract and not repay the money. Retention Bonds: This bond covers the retention amount and can be called upon if needed by the Principal if the Contractor defaults on his obligations. Professional Indemnity Insurance Professional Negligence is a common exclusion under General Liability insurance policies. Hence it is vital for both you and Contractors

to ensure that all Consultants and Professionals, including your insurance Broker who you may consult on this cover, along with all others who give professional advice, either be in a position to live up to their responsibilities or have an insurance policy in place to cover the same. The reality is that given the scope of risks involved few can handle their liabilities themselves, even though the likelihood of something happening varies greatly by profession. In addition, with the recent popularity of Design Build Contracts and their variations, the lines between who is ultimately responsible for errors in design and advice are becoming more blurred than ever. Consultants as well are taking on the roles formerly handled by other professionals, and often act as Lead Consultant on jobs and hire

In conclusion, your decision to build a new property is a big one, and you need to proceed with a degree of caution in protecting your investment during the construction phase. Most problems stem from a lack of understanding of what is covered and conversely what is not covered. Lack of questioning on the part of the insured as well as sometimes-poor dissemination of documents by insurers compounds the problem. Too much focus is often placed on price at the expense of the scope of cover being offered or the security of the insurance company being insured with, and small details such as failure to disclose material facts like for example blasting of the foundation could easily see a claim for injury or loss to a Third Party being denied. Hopefully this article has not killed your enthusiasm at your new project, and an insurance broker in the construction field can greatly enhance the process of making sure you are well advised on your potential risks and what your insurance dollars are being spent on.

James Peirce is a Director of Lynch Insurance Brokers Ltd. with 23 years experience in the field and specializes in commercial insurance broking, placement, claims negotiations and program structure. He is active in the broking field as Account Executive for several of Barbados’ largest companies, and is also the Director of Business Development. Apart from holding a Bachelors Degree in Marketing, he also holds a Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute of the UK. James can be contacted by telephone at 246 230 2684 or by email at james.peirce@lynchbrokers.com 118


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Enhancing the Customer Experience Sagicor General’s new Vice President Tracey Knight-Lloyd outlines the importance placed on her new role…

Tracey Knight-Lloyd, Sagicor Vice President

Appointing a Senior Executive specifically focused on enhancing the customer experience is a strong statement by Sagicor. Is this a shift in the company’s strategy going forward and if so, why has it been established? Thanks for offering Sagicor General this opportunity to discuss our new and exciting journey. At Sagicor General customer service has always been a critical part of our operations and over the years we have worked tirelessly to ensure that our customers across the region, both individual and corporate, enjoy the highest level of customer service. We do acknowledge, however, that focusing on the area of customer

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experience as opposed to merely customer service, presents a paradigm shift for the organisation. Customer experience as we are defining it, is way more than customer service ever was. A customer-focused organisation is one which places the customer at the core of all of its strategic decisions and that’s what we are aiming to do at Sagicor General. Within Sagicor General, customer experience will not be merely seen as a department, it will drive every fundamental decision the organisation makes. The question we will continue to ask ourselves will be -“How will this benefit our customers?”


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Is customer experience concerned only with complaints? Customer experience has evolved way further than complaints management and queries. Customer experience in today’s world tracks the customers’ journey throughout the organisation. It is

concerned with ensuring that every single customer interaction is well executed and adheres to the customer experience guidelines, which have been established. In effect, every interaction a customer has within Sagicor General will be defined and certain expectations established.


Business like Sagicor General is a significant undertaking. On a personal level you have a strong marketing background, how have staff responded to the new approach to customer experience?

... our staff at all levels has readily embraced our intensified focus on customer experience.

Specifically what are you going to introduce to create this new customer experience? We have several exciting initiatives planned, which all focus on the internal and external customer experience. I certainly would reiterate that our guiding principles continue to be espoused in one of our brand values, which state “people, not products, make us successful”. With this in mind, we will be focusing very closely on meeting customer needs and exceeding their expectations. The voice of the customer will guide all of our interactions. We will be placing greater emphasis on customer feedback and this will be critical in the development of our customer experience strategy. So watch us closely! Creating a change of culture or emphasis within an established insurance giant

Our customer experience vision is being lead by our CEO David Alleyne. Quite often, management and senior level support for customer experience is not as embracing as it should be. Fortunately, that isn’t the case at Sagicor General as our staff at all levels has readily embraced our intensified focus on customer experience. We are already known for offering good customer service. At this juncture, we have embraced customer experience because we know it is an opportunity for the future. We are moving from good to great! Sagicor General is a big player across the region. Will you be taking this focus on a new customer experience to your other offices? Certainly, Sagicor General operates in Trinidad, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and we remain committed to the region. These initiatives will be implemented across all of our operations. In 12 months time how will you monitor your success? Simply put, we will be measuring our success one satisfied customer at a time!

Tracey Knight-Lloyd, BA, Msc is the Vice President of Customer Experience. A former journalist, she has over ten years experience in the life insurance industry and over fifteen years marketing experience. Ms. Knight-Lloyd’s mandate is primarily to ensure that consistently high levels of customer service are delivered to all of Sagicor General’s clients, including direct customers, brokers and advisors. In addition to service delivery, this role is also primarily concerned with monitoring customer feedback, evaluation of such and ensuring all customer needs are met. She is s currently responsible for customer experience across the Sagicor General operations in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent, Dominica, Antigua and St. Lucia. Ms. Knight-Lloyd is a member of the Rotary Club of Barbados and has a special interest in increasing autism awareness. She can be contacted by email at tracey_lloyd@sagicorgeneral.com

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“We’ve Been There”

Wee know this house, W like we know every house we insure… •Buildings •Alternative Accommodation •Replacement of External Locks •Glass •Property Owner’s Liability •Landscaping •10% discount for Sagicor Life customers Home Business Auto Travel Travel For F or more information, visit sagicorgeneral.com today. today. Sagicor General Insurance Inc. is rated ““A-”Excellent A-”Excellent by A.M. Best Rating C Company. ompany.


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GLOBE FINANCE INC. Making Inroads with the Financial Services Sector One of Barbados’ leading financial institutions has relocated its offices to a new location on the South Coast. Globe Finance Inc., which was previously housed at Rendezvous Court, Rendezvous, Christ Church, is now situated in a fully restored heritage building at “Shirley House”, Hastings Main Road, Christ Church. Managing Director, Mr. Ron Davis noted “the new Globe Finance office is a quaint mixture of old and new. It provides added convenience for our clients and allows us to meet their needs more efficiently.” He goes on, “one of the key aims during the restoration process was to retain the character and main features of the old building, such as the original staircase and the coral stone wall. In concert with the move, Globe Finance has added several new products and services to its portfolio, the first of which is the Globe/BARP VISA Credit Card. The card offers BARP members added benefits every time they shop and greater security with the CHIP and PIN technology. The Globe/BARP VISA Credit Card, which is accepted wherever the Visa brand is displayed, provides BARP members with lower interest rates and affordable fees. Cardholders are able to benefit from transfer of existing credit card balances and the Loyalty and Rewards Program. The Credit Card is available in classic, gold and platinum and offers bonus points every time persons swipe at registered BARP

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Merchants. In addition Classic cardholders receive annual cashback rewards, while the gold and platinum cardholders benefit from greater flexibility with nonexpiring loyalty points as the cash value of the points are credited to the account. On registration with VISA, Platinum cardholders have the extra benefit of VISA reward points which are redeemed via VISA for travel and entertainment purposes. The hassle free Foreign Exchange service supports the US dollar needs of both commercial and consumer clients alike. With competitive interest rates, clients are able to conduct business in US currency and transfer money securely. Clients can also benefit from personalised service where funds are registered and Central Bank applications are processed on their behalf making it more convenient for them. The Globe Finance Safety Deposit Box allows customers to store important documents and valuables in a secure environment at competitive rates. The facility offers unlimited access during regular business hours and provides customers with the added comfort of knowing their valuables are safe from natural disasters, theft and the like. Globe Finance Inc is jointly owned by Sagicor Life Inc and Goddard’s Enterprises Ltd. Globe Finance Inc. continues provide exceptional customer service and innovative consumer and commercial products to the island, as it reaches its 16th year in operation.


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Making Things Happen Caribbean LED Lighting Inc., owner Jim Reid believes his manufacturing company is making an important contribution to a green culture, protecting the environment and saving money for clients and Governments. With numerous islands to select from how did you settle on Barbados? There were a number of considerations and we visited several other Caribbean locations, but the main reasons we settled on Barbados were the stable political situation, the good infrastructure and the availability of talented labour. Also, it’s lovely place to live and do business!

Jim Reid, Owner of Caribbean LED Lighting Inc.

Setting up a manufacturing business in the Caribbean seems like an awesome challenge for an International businessman. Why did you choose the Caribbean? We chose the Caribbean because our research showed the region had the highest electricity costs in the world with the exception of Denmark. That meant there was a real need for the latest energy efficient technology and there was huge potential. The existing market also depended heavily on imported products and we knew we could achieve better results from manufacturing our products locally. Competition from imported products has followed, but we compete on quality, customer service and price so we offer tremendous value to our customers.

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Your business is at the cutting edge of technology, but for the layman understanding LED lighting is something of a mystery. Can you explain the products involved and the benefits they offer? LED Lighting has been around since 1962, but it has never been a viable product until recent times. Advances in LED technology has improved the performance and reduced the price of LED lighting bringing it within the reach of all consumers. Traditional light bulbs generate heat at the same time they generate light and are hot to touch, but LED lighting runs at room temperature and is obviously safer. However, the main advantage is long life and therefore huge savings. Most LED products have a minimum 50,000+ hours rating which means they could last for over 10 years depending on usage. This is not only a major saving for domestic users, but think of floodlights and the huge cost involved in setting up equipment to replace a relatively cheap bulb every time one expires.


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Business We started with two employees and by March 2015 we passed 40 and continue to recruit. field. Investment in training is essential to our success and enables us to adapt quickly to business opportunities. Can the Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. business model be an inspiration to other aspiring Caribbean manufacturers and if so, how?

Within four years you have established an impressive factory base and are currently exporting to 14 countries. Where are your overseas markets and is further expansion planned? Our main market is the 14 countries of CARICOM and South America. However, we are also setting up a manufacturing plant in Canada to supply the North American market. It will be self-sufficient and offer some employment opportunities for our Barbadian employees. Understanding the culture of Caribbean business must have presented a few challenges in the early days. What did you find the most frustrating? Although I recognized the laidback easy-going lifestyle as very enjoyable I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that is also prevalent in the workplace. There is a distinct lack

of urgency within Caribbean business and Government, and it can be frustrating and counterproductive. As a result we have set our own standards and do not accept poor timekeeping. We place customer service at the top of our priorities. Our employees fully understand our philosophy and have willingly bought into the culture. Employment outside tourism related fields is limited in the Caribbean so any new manufacturing unit is very welcome. How many staff are employed and how have you been able to train them to the level of competency required? We started with two employees and by March 2015 we passed 40 and continue to recruit. Our staff has been sent to various parts of the world to be professionally trained and as technology and business opportunities develop, we will continue this strategy to ensure they are experts in their

We have been very successful in our industry, but every business has its own objectives and challenges. Most can be overcome with focus, vision and application, but if there is one area that should be given the highest priority in any business it is customer service. Every business has to set a high standard and stick to it to improve the overall standard of working and doing business in the Caribbean. What are the company’s medium and long-term goals? We are very positive about the future and see more growth in energy efficient products and off grid energy solutions. The world has been too dependent on fossil fuels in the past and the public awareness of renewable energy and a green culture is pushing us towards a completely new world of energy saving, reduced costs, higher efficiency and a healthier lifestyle. Caribbean LED Lighting intends to play an important part in this process.

Jim Reid is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland and completed his post-grad education in England and France. His business career has taken him to various parts of the world. He has held senior positions and Directorships in a variety of financial and technical companies and became involved in environmental change after he emigrated to Canada in 2003. He set up Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. in Barbados in 2011 and feels the company has an important role to play in creating a healthier and more efficient environment. Jim can be contacted by telephone at 246 621 0092 or by email at jreid@caribbeanledlighting.com 128


Caribbean Property Magazine 2015  

Real Estate in the Caribbean

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