Tara Nunes: in love with client service

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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MANAGING other people's money and ensuring that thousands of clients accomplish their financial goals may seem like a daunting task.

Not for Tara Nunes, vice-president in charge of the wealth management and client services portfolio at Sagicor Investments. In fact, she loves what she does so much that if you were to google “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life”, you'd probably find a picture of her.

Always with a ready smile and an unmistakeable passion for people and service, Nunes noted that client service has been the most rewarding part of her career to date.

“I love interacting with clients and I have clients that have been with me for the 18 years that I have been at Sagicor and that really means a lot to me,” Nunes told the Jamaica Observer.

She recalled that her baptism into the financial industry came after working as a senior financial analyst at Jamaica Broilers when she landed the position of manager, Private Clients with the then Manufacturers' Merchant Bank (now Sagicor Investments).

She led a small team of three in the Private Banking Unit.

This was the genesis of the Wealth Management Unit, and Nunes was tasked with ensuring that the financial needs of the institution's high net worth clients were fulfilled. Sagicor Investments is one of the leading investment houses in Jamaica, offering treasury, trading, unit trust funds, wealth management and corporate financing services.

“Persons are entrusting us with their most precious commodity, which is their money, and we have an awesome responsibility to ensure that our clients' priorities are paramount; their goals are front and centre in all that we do,” Nunes said.

These days, she leads a team of 55 managing a wealth portfolio now in excess of $160 billion.

The self-motivated Nunes credits much of that success to the team, saying: “You are only as good as the team you have around you, and I have the best!' She added that a fundamental part of her leadership style is motivating and inspiring said team to meet and exceed targets.

Even as she continues to excel in her area of expertise, Nunes believes there is always room for personal and professional development, and to that end, she is an avid reader of inspirational and motivational books, including The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey.

She noted, too, that there are many opportunities for growth within the Sagicor Group.

With a successful career built over the last two decades, Nunes has mastered the art of striking the all-important work/life balance — which she believes is important to one's overall well-being — and prides herself on being a good role model for her children, teaching them to be dedicated, strong, and independent, believing they can achieve anything their hearts desire.

Nunes shared that she married the love of her life at age 22, shortly after completing her bachelor's degree in economics and management at The University of the West Indies. Three years later, their first bundle of joy, Kelly, was born.

Their second, Brooke, came a few years later. “It is very important to strike that balance between work and your family and personal time; you have to be able to set work aside and spend time on yourself and your family,” the mother of two said.

“There were times when I was working until very late into the night, but over time you learn that balance and I have definitely got much better at this,” she said.

With her nest now empty, as both children are studying overseas, Nunes advises career women to dedicate time to spend with their children because in an instant they are gone.

In addition to her family time, Nunes enjoys traveling, going to the beach with friends, attending cricket matches, and socialising. The multi-faceted Nunes shared that she also has an interest in interior decorating and designing and is a big fan of HGTV.

Prior to her daughters “playing mas” during carnival, Nunes noted that she jumped every year since its inception in Jamaica, but said the time had come for her to “hang up her costume”.

Nunes is also involved in volunteer work, and for the past 10 years, has been an active member of the Women's Leadership Initiative, a platform for empowering women and giving back in the areas of health and education. For seven of those years, she has chaired the finance committee.

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