Be open to learning
Published: Oct 03, 2013
Name: K. Kelly Nottage
Industry Position: Senior trust officer, Ansbacher (Bahamas) Limited
What attracted you to the sector?
The financial services sector in The Bahamas is a dynamic one, with real and tangible prospects for growth and advancement. I am and continue to be attracted by the opportunity to apply my legal training in a very real sense by helping clients achieve their family and estate planning objectives. The sector allows me to get “in the trenches” so to speak and engage with people of various nations and cultures.
How long have you been involved in financial services? What keeps you motivated?
My very first job ever was working in the mail room at Credit Suisse for a summer. I was blessed to be exposed to the industry at a young age, and I have been in my current position at Ansbacher for three years and spent two years prior to that working in a leading law firm with extensive sector interface. Experience is an essential asset when providing financial services, and I have relished the opportunity to engage in hands-on experience both in the practice of law and my time in the sector.
The drive to find creative solutions to complex problems keeps me engaged and motivated. The sector as a whole is dynamic and constantly changing. As such, clients’ needs and requirements also are ever changing. This brings about new challenges on a daily basis, which must be met with creativity and diligence. It is this dynamism that has kept me engaged intellectually and the challenge of finding the best solution to a unique problem keeps me motivated.
Why do you think you have been successful?
I would say that I’ve achieved quite a bit in a relatively short period of time, but in my view, success is more of a process than a destination and it is a process that I’m still learning. I have been able to achieve what I have thus far by being open to constructive criticism and being ready and willing to learn.
Did mentoring play a part in your success?
Absolutely! I have been blessed to have worked with some of the leading minds in the industry. Dr. Earl Cash, Tara Archer and Oscar Johnson, partners at Higgs & Johnson, have all played pivotal roles in my development to date.
They provided the foundation upon which my career is built. It is also without question that Mrs. Mary Rodland, head of fiduciary at Ansbacher, has been a major influence in guiding me professionally and personally.
It has been my experience that there are people in the industry willing to share their knowledge and success if you are willing to listen and learn. Mentoring by these individuals has been instrumental to any career successes I may have had to date.
What qualifications do you feel are the most useful in helping you perform in the sector?
My legal training certainly has been an asset. My experience in litigation has helped significantly in understanding, communicating and managing the risk and liabilities inherent in the sector. However, I’ve found that success in the sector is less about the letters behind your name as it is about how you go about your work. Diligence, an ability to think laterally and quickly and a desire for excellence in all that you do are huge drivers of successful achievement in the sector.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career? How did you overcome it?
Foreign language fluency and the ability to communicate in more than one language has been my biggest challenge to date. Ongoing engagement and training in a foreign language course has greatly increased my comfort level whenever I am communicating with clients.
What advice would you give young people just starting out in the industry?
My advice is to be a sponge. Absorb all that you are taught, listen, and be open to learn. Experience in this industry is a tremendous asset and you can only gain experience by being engaged and getting involved. So, do the small things and master them well.
Be meticulous about your work and strive for excellence in everything you produce and you will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. The financial services industry in The Bahamas has much to offer those looking for a career that challenges them intellectually and offers them exposure internationally.
This is an exciting time to be involved in the industry, and I encourage those starting out to take advantage of any opportunity to get involved and gain experience.