Stuart South – Sagicor Group Jamaica 2019 Team Member Of The Year
Campion College alum Stuart South started his Sagicor journey in 2014 and has since then set himself apart as a hard-working and dedicated team member, adding significant value to the output of his team and the company.
An actuarial analyst in the Employee Benefits Division of Sagicor Life Jamaica, South has not only committed to doing his part in safeguarding the retirement security of the company’s pension clients but has also honed his passion for the field through his involvement in the division. His position sees him carrying out risk analysis for pension plans that are offered by employers, providing advice to various stakeholders, including trustees, employers and members.
Although he initially harboured hopes of studying computer science at the revered Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, he is now happy he made the choice to study actuarial science at the University of the West Indies, as it has earned him the ability to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s economy based on the overall impact of pensions coverage to the population.
“The passion for the field developed as I realised it requires a personality that is headstrong, diligent and dedicated, and a person able to withstand failures, which all match my own personal qualities. Everything happens for a reason. This career found me, and I enjoy every minute of it,” he said.
This evident passion for the career, along with his voluntary involvements and clear determination for success, is what earned the associate actuary the honour of being the 2019 Sagicor Group Jamaica Team Member of the Year title.
“I was very surprised when I learnt I was the Team Member of the Year, but I am ecstatic, so happy. It’s always good to be recognised, as it shows that I am going in the right direction; this is motivation to do even better, and I am hopeful that others can learn from my journey,” he said.
In 2019, Stuart took on the challenge of working with colleagues from the U.S.A, Barbados and Bermuda, including Sagicor Financial Corporation’s group chief actuary, and external consultants to more effectively re-organise US$200 million of the group’s capital to improve the quality of service to key stakeholders. While the project required that he learn a new area of operations, he places the experience as his most meaningful.
He also represented Sagicor at the annual conference for the Caribbean Association of Pension Supervisors where he delivered a well-received presentation on creating sustainable retirement income for participants in Defined Contribution pension plans. He was specially selected to address this audience that included regulators, actuaries and other industry stakeholders because of his strong communication skills, familiarity with the topic and ability to tailor his discussions to fulfil the objectives for such a select group.
Highlighting his team leadership abilities, in 2019, Stuart also led a team in organising his department’s awards ceremony, which saw members of the team being specially recognised for their performance in the prior year.
“I enjoy my experience at Sagicor; with everything else that makes it a great company, there is such a great sense of family, which is what I treasure the most,” he said.
For the past four years, Stuart has served as a representative on the Caribbean Actuarial Association (CAA), where he was part of an executive team which had the goal of furthering the actuarial profession in the Caribbean. During his time as a Student Representative, Stuart was successful in raising the profile of the profession by delivering presentations in high schools and universities, as well as contributing to expanding the university’s reimbursement programme for early actuarial exams across the Caribbean.
Stuart also assisted with planning several of the association’s premier annual conferences; revamped the association’s annual report to make it more appealing to readers outside the actuarial community, and proposed a programme to assist nearly qualified association members with study material. Stuart has also contributed and edited several articles for use by the CAA, including one he wrote in 2019 providing a practical guide to persons interested in pursuing the actuarial designation.
Despite his responsibilities at work, Stuart has been able to continually excel in his personal studies, having prepared for and passed his penultimate actuarial exam that brought him one step closer to qualifying as an actuary – a feat not easily accomplished.