March 19, 2024
Women's Corner

Empowered to Lead

empowered to lead

InLife’s Chief Investment Officer Vera C. Morales said she is blessed to be working in a company with corporate values that align with her personal values. “I am very happy that for Insular Life, we value love of God and country first and foremost.

Vera added that she is fortunate that the so-called glass ceiling for women has long been broken, and that InLife treats all its employees equally.

When Vera passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board exam in the mid-1980s, she simply wanted to get a job and earn her own money. Even when most companies were on freeze hiring due to political uncertainties at that time, she persisted in looking for a job in the financial services industry which, to her then younger self, only meant banks.

Vera managed to land her first job in a retail company, and then in an accounting firm. In 1986, she took a job exam in one of the imposing buildings along Ayala Avenue. “My target was just to land a job that would make me financially independent. That is what I found with Insular Life – financial independence,” she shared.

Vera started working in Insular Life’s audit division where she stayed for six years, until the company formed its own investment management unit. She said the transfer from internal audit to investment management entailed a lot of studying. Thankfully, she had a good mentor who diligently showed her the ropes in investment analysis and subsequently was able to start crafting the appropriate reports. She recalled that with practice and exposure to the nuances of the new role, her investment reports progressed from heavily corrected papers to spotless first drafts.

When Insular Life launched variable funds in 2005, the investment management unit started to grow. Vera noted that from an end-to-end grasp of various asset classes, the roles in IMD transitioned to specialization on equities, fixed income, and investment risk, among others.

“We are in-charge of the management of the company’s investments. My role is to lead the division by formulating and implementing investment strategies for InLife to achieve its corporate objectives of profitability, growth, and asset preservation to ensure that policyholder obligations are met,” she said.

Stressing her confidence in her team’s competencies and depth of experience, InLife’s Chief  Investment Officer explained how she provides broad-stroke guidance to her team. “One thing I learned from my mentor is that a good unit should continue to run like a well-oiled machine even when you are away. That is why in terms of leadership, I empower my team up to certain pre-determined transactional limits and processes,” she said.

Vera is among the company’s long-service employees. Not many companies can take pride in having employees who stay on for decades, but InLife certainly can. In 2023, InLife recognized 125 service awardees for their 5 to 40 (increments of 5) years of service.

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