Sagicor Group Puts Focus On Tech in Management Shuffle

September 19, 2022

From The Jamaica Gleaner 

Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited has created a new position for a head of group technology and redefined the jobs of three other top executives – changes that focus in the main on the financial conglomerate’s flagship insurance business.

The company, which is one of the top three profit-makers on the stock market, said it is reorganising for growth.

“These changes are designed to effect greater efficiencies, streamline, and strengthen our operations and transform our business with an ultimate goal of deepening our focus on our clients and the development of our people,” Sagicor Group President and CEO Christopher Zacca said in a statement.

Insurance remains its flagship business and key source of profit and revenue. Its other business lines include banking, investments, and property services. Sagicor is also Jamaica’s largest pension fund manager, a function that falls under the life insurance subsidiary.

Last year, Sagicor Group’s net revenue topped $102 billion, a new record that reflected a steep 21 per cent gain in top-line income year on year; but insurance premiums, while accounting for half of net revenue, only improved by a sluggish five per cent to around $53 billion.

The company is putting new emphasis on its digitalisation effort through the recruitment of Howard Gordon, formerly a senior manager in charge of technology at top bank National Commercial Bank Jamaica.

Gordon was hired as senior vice-president in charge of group technology and Sagicor Life operations. He has experience in auditing, risk management, operational management, business process re-engineering, and productivity management as well as a working knowledge of information systems, Sagicor said.

As for the three senior executives, long-time executive vice-president in charge of Sagicor’s Individual Life Division, Mark Chisholm, has become chief revenue officer for insurance.

“This strategic move will help us to deliver greater benefits to our clients through the development of one unified sales team across the insurance arm of the business ... . This new approach will better allow us to digitise the sales process and develop a suite of new digital products designed to be easily accessible by our clients,” Chisholm told the Financial Gleaner.

Willard Brown, former head of the Employee Benefits Division, is now chief technology and insurance operations officer. He sees technology and innovation as a critical part of how the company does business.

“Over the past few years, especially over the past two to three years, in light of the pandemic, the group has significantly invested in technological solutions to improve its operational efficiencies across the business. Sagicor Life Jamaica remains the leading provider of pensions services plus life and health insurance in Jamaica, and our use and investment in technology will be a major contributor to the group’s success,” Brown said.

Karl Williams, the former senior vice-president in charge of human resources and corporate services will be promoted to executive vice-president with responsibility for shared services. Through his unit, the conglomerate is aiming for new efficiencies in the group’s delivery of services.

Last year, as pandemic-affected capital markets began to regain momentum, Sagicor Group reported historically high annual profit of over $17.6 billion amid the recovery of value on certain investment holdings. It was outperformed only by NCB Financial Group, which made annual profit of $20 billion.