new management: Algico insurance agents arrive yesterday at the company's head office at St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, to meet with new owners from the Pan American Life Insurance Group. —Photo: Curtis Chase

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Algico sold again

...2nd time in 12 months

By Renuka Singh

Port of Spain-based life and general insurance provider Algico has changed hands for the second time in 12 months.

This time foreign company Pan American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) has bought the Algico business unit from US company MetLife.

More than 175 Algico staff members, agents and trade union representatives were called at various times to meet with six PALIG representatives at the company's St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, head office yesterday.

Last November the company was sold to US-based MetLife by its parent company, American Insurance Group (AIG).

A source at Algico said there was an increased security presence at the office as staff members came and went after hours of briefings and meetings.

A Newsday reporter entered the meeting without permission and was asked to hand over all notes and recordings. She was also prevented from leaving the compound and senior staff from the paper were called in before she could be released.

Mario Als, Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) representative for the company, said he had met with Algico's managing director Enrique Gonzales and the representatives to address workers' concerns.

"This was just a preliminary meeting, but it seems like it was an outright purchase of Algico," he said.

He said the company, which normally targets the Hispanic market in the Americas, saw Trinidad and Tobago as a stepping stone into the Caribbean market.

Als said though he was reassured that there would be no job losses, he remained sceptical.

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