Bowe addresses concerns on Royal Fidelity’s transition to RF Holdings

Concerns over terminations have arisen during the ongoing transition facing Fidelity staff as RF Holdings Limited absorbs 100 percent of issued and outstanding shares previously held evenly by RBC Royal Bank of Canada and Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited in their Royal Fidelity joint venture, though Chief Financial Officer of the Fidelity Group Gowon Bowe contended yesterday that staff have nothing to fear.

An email sent anonymously to Guardian Business yesterday claimed that the jobs of 20 staff could be in jeopardy as the RF Holdings transaction comes to a conclusion following regulatory approvals.

“As Royal Fidelity seeks to close its transaction with its change in shareholders from RBC and Fidelity to RF Holdings, the management team is preparing to terminate almost 20 Bahamian staff,” the email claimed.

However, Bowe explained that those employees that are being moved between two different legal entities are executing a change in employer.

He added that those Fidelity employers have essentially always been carrying out business for Royal Fidelity and are simply now legally coming under the RF Holdings umbrella.

“These employees would be treated as if they started their employment with Royal Fidelity,” Bowe said.

He also said RF Holdings has come in to expand the company and not downsize it.

“Any entity is only as successful as the people it employs,” said Bowe.

“They are only looking to grow and expand and should not be looking to have any reduction in staff.”

Bowe also said these concerns could be related to anxieties surrounding the changes, but added that there could have also been a misunderstanding due to insufficient communication of the process.

A press release on the formation of RF Holdings in February stated: “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.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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