Jamaica 2018 | FINANCE | COLUMN

TBY talks to Jason Maguire,Group CEO, Heritage Education Funds International, on the sector.

Jason Maguire

How do you evaluate your contribution to education in Jamaica?

As tuition continues to increase across the board, we are seeing more Jamaican families saving for education. Many students study locally, given that international student fees are approximately 20-30% higher. We see ourselves as the somewhat unsung heroes of Jamaican society. Many children here have been able to go to university because one of our sales representatives had an hour-long conversation with their parents 15-17 years ago about the benefits of planning for their child's future education and starting a savings plan with us. It is the same as planning for retirement or having life insurance.

Why is Jamaica one of your best markets?

Jamaica has a strong culture of saving. It is part of the reason why Lyndie Headley, recently retired Agency Director, wanted to bring the product to Jamaica; he knew Jamaican parents wanted to put savings aside. Many would save through insurance, though that does not provide the return they were necessarily seeking. Being able to save in the Heritage plan, in US dollars, is truly a benefit to parents. Parents understand the challenges in society and the business world and know they need to give their child a leg up.