By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
RoyalStar Assurance’s 2013 performance is on target to match last year’s $4 million bottom line, its managing director yesterday telling Tribune Business its new JFK Drive headquarters showed the firm was “here to stay”.
Anton Saunders said the firm’s $10 million head office investment had enabled it to “put down roots” after 20 years of renting space in Centreville House, overlooking Nassau Harbour.
With Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) secured as the ground floor ‘anchor tenant’, Mr Saunders said RoyalStar hoped to conclude lease negotiations for one of its two available second floor spaces by year’s end.
“Despite the May floods, we think we’re going to be on target for the same results as last year, around the $4 million range,” Mr Saunders told Tribune Business of RoyalStar’s 2013 projected profits.
That comes after Mr Saunders earlier this year pegged the size of his firm’s gross claims from New Providence’s May flooding at between $1.8-$2.25 million.
“When I was in Montreal, I spoke to the loss adjuster who was dealing with 60-70 per cent of the claims for the insurance industry,” he told Tribune Business previously
“He’s pegged the loss at between $12-$15 million for the insurance industry, and we’re probably 15 per cent of that, no buts, ifs or maybes.”
For 2012, RoyalStar’s $4.401 million net income for the 2012 full-year exceeded post-Hurricane Sandy expectations by 10 per cent.
The property and casualty underwriter’s net income performance represented a 26.5 per cent improvement on prior year levels, as it shrugged off the impact made by Hurricane Sandy.
Mr Saunders, meanwhile, added yesterday that the main benefit from its JFK Drive headquarters would be enhanced customer service, particularly on the claims side, although brokers and agents sometimes brought major clients in, too.
“It gives RoyalStar a profile in the country that we are here to stay,” Mr Saunders said of the JFK Drive location. “After renting in Centreville House for 20 years, we’ve put down roots and are here to stay.”
RoyalStar’s 31-strong staff have been enjoying the new offices since June this year, the property and casualty underwriter having invested a total $10 million in purchasing the land and building, then outfitting the latter to meet its needs.
“The bottom floor is rented out by Royal Bank, our long-term tenant,” Mr Saunders told Tribune Business. “There are two other spaces we are going to rent out on the second floor.
“We have one prospect that we are currently negotiating with, and hopefully we will conclude that by the end of the year. The smaller space we will market next year.”
Royal Bank is renting some 7,000 square feet of ground floor space, and Mr Saunders said the second floor spot under negotiation was some 1,600 square feet. The smaller space is 1,300 square feet.
“They can help pay for the building for us,” he added of the tenants.