#TeamMemberTuesday - Mishca McLeod Hines - Finance Phenom
Sagicor AVP Mischa McLeod- Hines talks balancing work, life
One would think that the many trophies in her office or her recent promotion to assistant vice president of capital markets at Sagicor Investments are among Mischa McLeod-Hines' greatest accomplishments. But as she tells the Jamaica Observer, balancing her work and home life is the thing she treasures most.
Leading a high-performing team while being the consummate mother and wife is an elusive goal for many, but McLeod-Hines says she made the conscious decision to do it and puts in the work every day to achieve it. So, despite her heavy work schedule, the mother of two active boys – Rees, nine and Liam, five – says she ensures that she makes it home in time to help with homework, read stories and have general bonding time before bed.
Similar to having goals in one's career, McLeod-Hines — who is an active swim parent, serves on the leadership committee for the 'Y' Speedos Swim Club, of which her son is a part — believes it is equally important to set goals for succeeding at parenting.
“I ensure I am actively involved in nurturing my children. So, we have dedicated family time where we try to do one major activity monthly, whether it is going to the beach or the movies; there is always a must-do activity,” she says.
She adds that travel outside of Jamaica during the holidays is also part of the family's calendar.
“I want to raise my boys so that they are comfortable enough to talk to me about anything, so whenever they are going through any kind of issue, they know without any uncertainties that mommy and daddy are there for them and are always open for a discussion,” she says.
In addition to setting aside time for her boys and her husband Rees, McLeod-Hines notes that every Monday, without fail, she joins her number one supporter — her mother, Elsinora McLeod — via telephone to catch up on episodes of the popular TV show The Bachelor. Because, for her, work/life balance is not merely about working the prescribed eight hours per day then running home; it means being actively involved in all aspects of life that contribute to one's overall well-being with a schedule that is tailored to suit one's needs.
In fact, her typical day begins at 3:00 each morning with personal quiet time which offers her the opportunity to get through the legal documents and business plans she needs for work. At that time, she says, is when she is also able to think and prepare strategies for her team.
After getting the children ready and off to school, she gets into office to focus on her work family, their ideas and the work plans for the day ahead, with a focus on raising capital for the company, dealing in shares, bonds and other long-term investments.
McLeod-Hines' promotion came in the last quarter of 2018, after serving as manager with oversight of the team for four years.
Under her leadership, the Capital Markets team closed the largest debt refinancing deal in the company's history in February of this year, contributing US$34 million and J$10.68 billion to the US$180 million raised for energy company Jamaica Public Service. At the Sagicor Group Corporate Awards in March, her team also copped the coveted Sagicor Investments Outstanding Performer of the Year award for 2018, having raised J$30 billion in deals for the companies. In 2017, she copped the award for the integral role she played in increasing the unit's transaction volume by 500 per cent.
The Immaculate Conception High School alumna began her journey with Sagicor Group in 2003 as a Foreign Exchange Support Trader, after moving from another financial institution where she was a customer service representative. That was her second job out of university, having completed a first degree in finance. She later completed a Master's in Finance at Edinburgh Business School in Scotland.
In reference to her professional transition, McLeod-Hines quotes the Chinese proverb, “When the winds of change blow, you can either build a wall or create a windmill”, saying that though her quest for success has come with its fair share of challenges, she is not daunted.
She is one of the few females at the head of a capital markets unit in Jamaica.
“The boys play rough, but I am very strong, motivated and I am therefore able to hold my own among them,” says McLeod-Hines when asked if she is intimidated by her male counterparts.
Update: Since this news piece was published, Mischa has continued on an amazing journey of careful planning as mother and wife. As seen in the social media post, she continues to deliver exceptional value in the billions she earns for Sagicor Investments.
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