SHELLY-ANN Morgan is the manager, investment client services, for the Kingston Metropolitan Area at Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited.
AW: What was your first job?
SM: My first job was as a clerk at the Office of the Prime Minister, where I worked right after graduating from Merl Grove High School.
AW: What would you say is your best career achievement to date?
SM: There have been so many, especially since I began working at Sagicor in 2007. When I started as a senior investment advisor, initially I was not meeting my targets — even my probation period was extended because I just wasn't making the numbers. But I was determined to improve, and it took a lot of late nights and sacrifices, but eventually I started doing well. I'm proud to say that every sales award that was on offer at Sagicor Investments, I won. When I was promoted to manager my ambition shifted to building up my team so we can all achieve together. I was winning as a team member, now I want to lead a winning team and be the winning manager.
AW: When would you say you have worked the hardest?
SM: I've always been a hard worker. Ever since I was a little girl and would take the bus and see conductors handling what I thought was a lot of money, I knew I wanted to work in finance, and I've been working hard to reach one goal after the other since. I love to win, and that requires hard work. Ultimately, though, I am looking to slow down somewhat because I've always been busy. I've always spoken about working smart, not hard, and it is still something that I am working on. I have a lot of ideas in my head. For example, I have never used my marketing degree outside of opportunities that have come up in my role in investment client services, and that's something that I want to grow into.
AW: What do you love most about the world of investments?
SM: I love everything about it! I find it both exciting and challenging at the same time. It can be a goosebump moment, seeing how the discipline of investments can impact lives positively. Some people think it's boring, but I especially love that I can assist my clients in achieving their financial goals through proper planning and financial guidance. The feeling is like no other when a satisfied client becomes your biggest cheerleader.
AW: What is your go-to thought for motivation?
SM: I always find myself thinking of The Little Engine that Could and that little voice saying, “I think I can… I think I can…” I try to keep that mindset. I'm a very positive and optimistic person, and that's how I live my life and project myself onto others. I am always willing to try. There will always be challenges, but we always have to keep getting better. I'm building on the strong foundation that I have inherited and trying to see how I can take that to the next level.
AW: What is your advice to young women who are looking to pursue a career in the corporate world?
SM: Be disciplined and consistent. I've come to realise that discipline and consistency are really two of those staples that you need in your life, no matter where you are. And when you are working in an environment where there are other high performers, it can either make or break you. You must be confident enough in yourself to know that whatever someone else can do, you can as well, or even better.
AW: What is your number one piece of investment advice for women?
SM: Be bold and assertive in taking control of your finances. Start by doing your research and educating yourself on investments and do not allow fear to prevent you from participating in the stock market. Start investing as soon as you begin earning.