AFTER 20 years in the business, Audrey Flowers-Clarke's recent promotion to vice-president (VP) of insurance operations of the Individual Insurance Division at Sagicor has been long in the making.
Previously the assistant VP of Insurance Operations of the Individual Line Division and before that consultant programmer/analyst, Flower-Clarke — who holds a bachelor of science degree in computing from the University of the West Indies — believes she is well placed to meet the demands of her new position, which includes "developing and implementing the division's strategic plan, as well as designing programmes to support the field force and administrative staff efficiency".
Other duties that come with the new post include overseeing the operations division of the department of the individual insurance division, both in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands "to support the attainment of company objectives".
In addition, she is to "provide leadership for the insurance operations, including Sagicor Life
of the Cayman Islands administrative staff on an ongoing basis [as well as] ensure the provision of accurate and responsive service to both internal and external customers".
Her responsibilities, Flowers-Clarke noted,
will span "paramedic services, new business, underwriting, customer service, premium accounting, records management, and facilities management".
The appointment, complete with its raft of new and old duties, has left Flowers-Clarke ecstatic.
"I felt proud, excited and wonderful and will admit I am still basking in those emotions," said the woman whose promotion became effective in May this year.
She has credited her willingness to learn various aspects of the insurance business for her success to date.
"My success in transforming the insurance operations unit [also] contributed to this appointment I had provided much assistance and led a number of teams in transitioning the information technology (IT) operations from Life of Jamaica [now Sagicor] to the shared services IT (SSIT) concept in Barbados. This led to my appointment as an assistant vice-president in the SSIT team, where I had at some time the responsibilities for the development of individual life applications across the Sagicor Group and later on my current promotion in May," she told Career & Education.
According to Flowers-Clarke, she brings to the new position her "ability to be results-oriented, that is, seeing a problem through to the end, that being a requirement from my previous jobs as programmer, programmer analyst, systems analyst, project manager, etc".
"Also, my interpersonal skills have helped me to deal with my direct reports," she said.
In the coming months, she said her focus will be on implementing a number of strategies to make it easier for clients to do business with Sagicor Life Jamaica.
"There is also a number of operating efficiencies initiatives being rolled out before the year end to ensure that Sagicor Life remains the leading insurance company," Flowers-Clarke said, adding that as VP in the individual insurance division she intends "to ensure that the strategic objectives of the division and the company are carried out in the most efficient way".
For individuals looking to secure their own promotion in the workplace, the insurance executive had this advice: "The rewards, whether through a promotion [or otherwise], will always come when the focus is on job satisfaction. When the focus is on job satisfaction, it motivates you to get up every morning and do whatever it takes to get the task completed and always go the extra mile."
Looking back, the 53-year-old mother of one child said she has no regrets.
"I don't believe in regrets. I believe everything happens in life for a reason and if something happens that is not in line with your objectives, there is always a lesson to be learnt. Fortunately for me, I have enjoyed all my jobs right along my career path and I have a fulfilled family life," she said.