Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Zacca plots steady course

Published:Sunday | May 7, 2017 | 5:00 AMNeville Graham
The Big 3 of Sagicor Group Jamaica, from left, new President & CEO Christopher Zacca; outgoing Chairman R. Danny Williams; and outgoing CEO and chairman-in-waiting Richard Byles, at the cocktail reception to welcome Zacca to the job, held at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Newly minted president and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Christopher Zacca, is preaching continuity even as he touts innovation and change at the financial conglomerate.

He told a gathering of clients, power brokers and captains of industry that he is committed to continuing the tradition of excellent service to clients.

"I want you to be secure in the knowledge that the values of service and integrity that started with the company from its inception as Life of Jamaica and maintained under Richard Byles at Sagicor will remain steadfast throughout whatever time I am here," Zacca committed to those in attendance at the Spanish Court Hotel poolside reception marking the start of his own stewardship.

The new boss, who took over from Byles on May 1, says he will be relying on the 2,250 team members at Sagicor to uphold the philosophy that "only when our clients win, we win", but he also highlighted the "privilege and responsibility" of his own role in Sagicor's continued growth.

Speaking to Gleaner Business afterwards, Zacca emphasised that he has no plans for a change in senior leadership, at least not in the short run.

"The theme I have is continuity," he said. "I think we have a strong senior leadership team so there will be continuity. But, of course, I am always looking at how to optimise the match of responsibilities and strengths and weaknesses, so that is not a forever assurance," he added.

The organisational set-up at Sagicor Group sees the president and CEO having two divisional CEOs reporting to the group CEO. Zacca, like Byles before him, will lead the flagship insurance arm.

Sagicor Bank is headed by Donovan Perkins, while Sagicor Investments is headed by Rohan Miller.

Zacca says that the same order will remain going forward especially, including for the Sagicor Life Jamaica operation.

"The president of the group is also the president of the life insurance company, and especially from a regulatory point of view the executive responsibility of the life insurance company is with me, and that will remain," he said.

He earlier told the reception that he is committed to Sagicor's tradition of technological innovation. Zacca noted that in line with MIT engineering background, he believes in the power of technology.

"My long-standing belief in the power of technology falls in line with Sagicor's commitment to the use of technology to enhance the way we interact with you our clients," Zacca said.

Byles who ran Sagicor for 13 years will succeed R. Danny Williams as chairman of the conglomerate next month.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com