1/0

Dear Shareholders,

This is my first letter to you since taking on the role of Chair of the Argus Group Board of Directors in April this year. I follow in the exemplary footsteps of Sheila Nicoll who will be stepping down in September 2021 after serving on the Board for over 15 years, the last ten as Chair.

There are many things about Argus that attracted me to this position. It’s an iconic Bermuda institution that, during its 71-year history, has cemented its reputation as a caring employer and health care provider.

I’ve always admired the Argus ethos of doing the right thing for its customers, its employees, the community and, of course, its shareholders. Argus calls this its “everyone wins” philosophy and you’ll read more about it throughout this report.

In a small island community like Bermuda, we rub shoulders with people from each of these groups. They are our relatives, friends and neighbours. It’s important to me that I believe we treat all of them equitably. Over the years, Argus has strived to do just that.

As I assume this role, Argus is in fine shape. This is in no small part due to the guidance, professionalism and determination that Sheila provided over her many years of service.

Three years ago, Sheila led the Board and Argus’ Management team in making some difficult decisions in order to position the Company for long-term profitable, sustainable growth. Under her stewardship, obstacles to achieving this growth were identified and a plan for addressing the issues was outlined.

It’s impressive to arrive at the start of the fiscal year 2022 and realise that virtually every roadblock has been removed – all the more meaningful because of the dire impact the last 18 months has had on global health care systems, the insurance industry and capital markets.

quote background image

It’s an iconic Bermuda institution that, during its 71-year history, has cemented its reputation as a caring employer and health care provider.


Of particular note

  • We sold underperforming assets, reinvesting the proceeds to fund our growth and diversification plans.
  • We reorganised our business units to better support our development as a global company, embedding a commitment to operational efficiency throughout the Argus Group and leveraging product and service digitisation to accelerate the execution of our business plans.
  • We’ve established a thriving client administration operation in Canada and we’re the largest employee benefits provider in Bermuda.

You’ll find more detail and insight about these developments in the updates from our Management team included in this annual report. Some of the highlights in these sections:

  • In her Group CEO report, Alison Hill outlines what our ‘everyone wins’ philosophy looked like in practice throughout the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021; how our new organisational design is enabling our focus on efficiency and improved customer service; and how our commitment to affordable, accessible health care is helping to redefine the health care industry in Bermuda.
  • Group CFO Peter Dunkerley notes in his report that, since 2018, our shareholders’ equity has increased from $105.9 million to $149.7 million as of March 31, 2021. Peter also provides key metrics that illustrate our strong results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, our robust enterprise risk management and financial planning, and our operational excellence mindset.
  • One of Argus’ boldest and most notable achievements was the June 2020 acquisition of the two largest medical practices in Bermuda. This groundbreaking development signalled Argus’ enduring belief in the power of shifting health care’s focus from sickness to wellness. The benefits of integrating Island Health Services and The Family Practice Group into the Argus Group represent the beginning of our own integrated health care evolution. You can read more about this signature move in Argus Americas Chief Executive Peter Lozier’s report.
  • As we continue our product and geographic expansion, we’re pleased with the progress made this year by Argus Europe Chief Executive Tyrone Montovio. You can read more in the Argus Europe Regional report.
quote background image

One of Argus’ boldest and most notable achievements was the June 2020 acquisition of the two largest medical practices in Bermuda.


Throughout the pandemic, we were undeterred in our commitment to our employees and the communities in which we do business.

For the first time, we’re presenting this section under an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) heading. While the ESG acronym is a new reference in the Company’s annual report, the desire to make a meaningful, positive impact has been a constant at Argus for 71 years.

It goes without saying that a critical aspect of building a company that delivers enduring value to its shareholders, employees and customers is the quality of its governance. In this regard, I’m very pleased to welcome Costas Miranthis and Garrett Curran to the Argus Board. Costas and Garrett join an experienced, committed group of Directors and enhance an already considerable skillset with a wealth of experience, as well as expertise, in the re/insurance and financial services sectors. Their respective backgrounds will enable them to play key roles in moving our strategy for growth forward.  

quote background image

A critical aspect of building a company that delivers enduring value to its shareholders, employees and customers is the quality of its governance..

Further. Faster


2/0

Speaking of moving forward, you’ll have noticed that the theme of this year’s annual report is Further. Faster.

Having “cleared the decks,” so to speak, over the last three years, we believe that the components for building a profitable global company are firmly in place. While the impact of COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come, the obstacles to Argus’ growth have largely been removed.

As a result, we believe we can deliver on an accelerated pace of growth and change – going further, faster in executing our plans – over the next three years:

  • We’ve entered the 2022 fiscal year with a laser focus on delivering meaningful value to everyone who invests in, works for and does business with the Argus Group.
  • We remain committed to reinvesting in the business – balancing profitability, risk, growth and strategic investments.
  • We continue to deliver on our goal of increasing returns on equity, growing book value per share and improving the quality of our assets. It has been heartening to see some of this reflected in the share price which has approximately doubled in the last twelve months.

Regarding our share price, we know that Argus stock is trading at a discount – well below the level warranted by a company with our performance. We will be working hard to remedy this over the next few years. For example, one of the capital management tools available to Argus is the repurchase of our own shares. While we don’t recommend that shareholders sell their shares at the current prices, we do recognise that some shareholders require liquidity. So from time to time, we will be aiding available liquidity by purchasing shares in the open market. As we continue to monitor our performance in this regard, we will maintain and grow the dividends we pay to shareholders whenever possible.

In closing, I again want to express my deep regard and appreciation to Sheila for all that she has done to bring Argus to this exciting point in its development. She’s left an enduring legacy and helped to ensure that, as Argus charts its path to a global presence, it remains an iconic institution in Bermuda.

Sincerely,

David A. Brown
Chair, Argus Group

Download the full report


Download the full report including the full financial statement.

Download the report
Prism background image