Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Limited has announced that, as a result of a management-led buyout, RF Holdings Limited, a newly-formed Bahamian holding company, has agreed to acquire 100 percent of its issued and outstanding shares that were previously held on a 50/50 basis by RBC Royal Bank of Canada and Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited. The acquisition will result in RF Holdings owning 100 percent of Royal Fidelity’s operations in The Bahamas and Barbados.
“It’s an exciting time for Royal Fidelity. We’ve come a long way from our beginnings 20 years ago as a subsidiary of Fidelity Bank,” commented Michael Anderson, Royal Fidelity president. “While the partnership with Fidelity and RBC has worked well for all of us and Royal Fidelity has developed significantly as a result, the time is right for us to move forward independently. We very much value the strong relationship that we have with both RBC and Fidelity and look forward to working closely with both companies.”
Anderson will assume the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO) of RF Holdings and maintain his roles as president and CEO of Royal Fidelity in both The Bahamas and Barbados. Ross McDonald will assume the role of chairman of RF Holdings and will maintain the role of chairman of Royal Fidelity in both The Bahamas and Barbados.
The change in ownership will mean that 83 percent of RF Holdings shares will be held by Bahamian citizens and permanent residents. A newly formed employee share option plan will also mean that all Royal Fidelity management and staff in The Bahamas and Barbados will become shareholders of RF Holdings. Under the new ownership, the Royal Fidelity Bahamas team will be expanded via the addition of 23 staff members, including new managers for information technology, human resources and marketing. Clients are assured that they will continue to receive the same high level of expertise and professionalism that they have come to expect from Royal Fidelity. To accommodate the increased number of staff, The Bahamas office will be relocating to Providence House, East Hill Street.
“Royal Fidelity has gone from strength to strength over the last 20 years, for the first 10 years as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fidelity Group and the last 10 years under the joint venture between RBC and Fidelity,” said Gowon Bowe, chief financial officer of the Fidelity Group. “We look forward to continuing to build on Fidelity’s relationship with Royal Fidelity and providing our staff and customers continued access to their investment products and services.”
The new flagship Royal Fidelity offices are undergoing extensive renovations to modernize the 12,000-plus square feet of space. The new offices will provide free and accessible parking for clients and staff and convenient and modern facilities in a central location on the southern edge of Downtown Nassau. The full relocation to Providence House is expected to be completed by the end of February.
“We have developed an excellent relationship with Royal Fidelity over the last 10 years, and our clients have benefitted from access to Royal Fidelity’s extensive range of investment products and services,” noted Rob Johnston, head of RBC Caribbean banking. “Royal Fidelity has a strong, knowledgeable team and we look forward to continuing to partner with them for our customers’ investment needs.”
Royal Fidelity’s Bahamas and Barbados clients should expect to continue with “business as usual” with no material changes to personnel or Royal Fidelity’s products and services. Contact numbers will remain the same and there will be no changes to account information. Should clients have any questions, Royal Fidelity encourages them to reach out to their account manager or call 356-9801.