Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Kettle takes charge in finance

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie

Great leaders have the ability to inspire people to reach higher, dream bigger and achieve better. The most important trait a leader should have is the ability to motivate a team by working with them to achieve a common goal. This is the approach of Terise Kettle, who is not only the youngest female manager, but the newly appointed assistant vice-president of Corporate and Commercial Banking and SME Banking at Sagicor Bank Jamaica Limited.

Though the road to finance was not her first choice, it took a bit of soul searching to figure out what her true calling was.

The Campion College alumnus, began her career in accounting, with a little background in the sciences.

"My father [who is a banker] did not want me to go into banking, because he knew what it entailed. He tried to get me to look into other careers, but I always had a passion for finance, which came from watching him work," Kettle told Outlook.

In September 2012, Kettle was appointed the role of relationship manager in business banking at RBC. During the 2014 merger between RBC and Sagicor Limited, she was promoted to team lead, which gave her the ability to oversee a team of relationship managers and ensuring all deadlines and targets were met. As the new assistant vice president, Kettle's role incorporates the training of personnel, as well as analysis of areas within the company which would need improvement.

"The journey at Sagicor has been great, it reminds me a lot of one of those dynamic institutions. They are always pushing you to excel," said Kettle.

The vibrant and down-to-earth AVP, is very self-motivated when it comes to going after her goals.

"I do not take no for an answer. One of my mottos is, 'only the best is good enough'. Always make sure you put out all the effort that you can," she said.

Her main goal is to develop people within the field and ensure that she exceeds her clients' expectations.

"I would like to know that I have helped to nurture other leaders within this unit, that is a driving force for me, knowing that I am grooming the next AVP or the next CEO. Maybe not necessarily for the Sagicor Group, but wherever they go," said Kettle.

Being a woman who is focused on continuously improving, she encourages persons to always think of themselves as being great and innovative.

"Think outside of the box, because that is how you are going to be able to make your mark, especially as a woman in the financial industry," explained Kettle.

She admits that one of the biggest threats to her success is herself.

"Not trying to grow beyond whatever it is that has got me here, is the biggest threat to my success. I have to figure out what exactly it is that is needed to take me to the next level," she declared.

Finding the right balance between work and her personal life, was one of the hardest lessons Kettle had to learn. In 2008, Kettle became pregnant with her first daughter, Sai, who was born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs. Six weeks after birth, due to several complications, baby Sai succumbed to her ailments.

"I beat up myself a lot, because I did not listen to my body. What I learnt from that experience, is that you have to take time and try to find that balance. It pushed me to slow down and take some time for myself. If I had given myself the attention that I give to my clients, then maybe she would have been alive today," said Kettle, who was near tears as she recollected the experience.

From her experiences with clients, encouraging growth within her team, as well as self-growth, Kettle's advice is to find ways to stand out from the crowd.

"Always try to set yourself apart from others. Always try to be very informed about what it is you are doing. Find out the advancements being made in that industry and what you can do to contribute and make a difference."