Alliance Bank changes ownership

It opened its doors in January of 2001 under the Glenn Godfrey business group, and nine years after bearing the name the Alliance Bank, the financial institution is changing its name. But perhaps more interestingly, it is changing ownership. That’s right, major shareholders in the bank, Glenn Godfrey and his wife, Joy have divested their interests in Alliance and the new major shareholders have decided to start afresh with a new name. Managing Director of Alliance, Steve Duncan says the new investors are from Mexico and the Caribbean.

Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Alliance Bank

“The original shareholders are no longer with the institution and their shares were sold to a new set of investors noh? So with that, the new investors have asked that we changed name.”

Marion Ali
“Any of the new investors, are they prominent business people or known in the country?

Steve Duncan
“It is possible, I’m not sure, but they are not Belizeans. So I don’t know how to say. The new majority shareholder is a gentleman out of umm, has some business in Cancun, Mexico—the Royal Resorts that we have there, he is a party to that. And he is now the new majority shareholder along with the Antigua Overseas Bank—together they make up the bulk of the shareholding of the bank, noh? Neither of the two is really new to institution. Both parties were investors in the institution, but they have taken a much larger stake in the institution and bought out the shares of the previous majority shareholders which I think you are aware would have been at that time the Godfrey’s—Glen Godfrey and his wife. So that is a large part, the reason for the change because the new people are asking for a new name.”

Marion Ali
“But the name Alliance, it bears and it carries its own reputation over the years. Acquiring a new name, do you think that would—it’s a fresh start, it would cast some doubt on the new direction of the bank—how, I guess stability and that kind of thing for the customers?”

Steve Duncan
“Yes, it can do both. It can cast doubt, it can cast concern, but on the flip side as you said it’s a fresh start and it could also therefore cast encouragement and hope it just depends on how you look at it and what it means to the general public. I am hoping that it is the latter, that it will actually distill some degree of encouragement, some degree of stability and that people will be, you know, generally people like to see new beginnings.”

Marion Ali
“The reasons or the reason why the Godfrey’s have decided to sell out, for the want of a better term. Does it have anything, if they’ve given the reason, does it have anything to do with the state of the economy, the global recession, lack of confidence?”

Steve Duncan
“It’s difficult for me to say the reason their divestment, but indications are that the state of the economy was not the issue. What specifically was the issue, I am not really sure, but I did not get the impression that it was the state of the economy. In fact, I know discussions started even prior to the global crisis. It has just recently been finalized because these things go through different iterations, different changes and discussions and documents and things, but I know that the discussions were going on for quite a while.”

Duncan says the bank’s customers can help them find a new name for the institution. Alliance Bank’s assets are in the vicinity of two hundred million dollars.

http://www.channel5belize.com/archive_detail_story.php?story_id=25257
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