Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Waldron-Gooden exiting finance

Published:Sunday | March 19, 2023 | 12:44 AM
CEO of Caribbean Assurance Brokers, Tania Waldron-Gooden.
CEO of Caribbean Assurance Brokers, Tania Waldron-Gooden.

After two and a half years of driving change at her most recent posting, Tania Waldron-Gooden is pulling up stumps at Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited, CAB, and making an orderly exit from the finance industry. But outside of confirming her...

After two and a half years of driving change at her most recent posting, Tania Waldron-Gooden is pulling up stumps at Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited, CAB, and making an orderly exit from the finance industry.

But outside of confirming her departure from the sector, the former investment banker is not saying where she will land.

Her next move is “a big opportunity to make a difference,” she said. “In another few days you should know. The company will announce it, and they have the blessing of CAB as well,” Waldron-Gooden added.

Her run as CEO of Caribbean Assurance ends officially on April 30. She began there as a top executive and deputy to the founder, having left her job at Mayberry Investments Limited, where she developed a reputation as a deal specialist and finance expert.

With that track record, she serves on the boards of six stock market companies, Financial Gleaner data shows, including as mentor to junior market companies.

As an investment banker, Waldron-Gooden is experienced in portfolio management, risk management, corporate finance, strategic planning, and securities. After a three-year stint at the former Capital & Credit Securities, she joined Mayberry Investments in June 2006 as a management trainee. She rose steadily up the ranks over her 14 years at Mayberry, before parting with the company at the level of director of investment banking in September 2020. She was also a member of Mayberry’s board, but resigned after her departure from the company.

Waldron-Gooden carried the stripes of business mentor and structuring specialist at Mayberry. In that role, she would ready companies for listing on the equities market and serve on boards as a mentor.

One such company was Caribbean Assurance Brokers, which listed in March 2020. She later joined CAB’s management team in October 2020 as deputy CEO, while remaining a member of that board. Waldron-Gooden later took over as CEO of CAB on January 1, 2022.

She will serve the company for another month and a half to, she said, ensure an orderly transition after the company secures the services of a new CEO.

“I’ve helped the company get to a point,” Waldron-Gooden said of her imminent departure.

“We’re actively searching for a new CEO. We’ve engaged an independent party to do the search and we’ll look at applicants,” she said.

Regarding her mission at the firm, she said CAB “just needed some help with guidance in terms of structure and succession planning, which was a big deal when I came”.

During her tenure, Waldron-Gooden said she restructured the finance department, did strategic promotion, hunted talent and put CAB in a position to take advantage of opportunities when they come.

“Net profit has grown throughout the period,” she said. “We normalised the quarters so that the performance was not so erratic, and revenues went over the $500-million mark for the first time.”

Caribbean Assurance Brokers was founded in June 2005 by Executive Chairman Raymond Walker as a broker of insurance products. At listing, the firm was turning over $397 million in annual revenue, while its début profit was over $31 million in 2020.

Sales revenue dipped n the pandemic year but recovered to $463 million in 2021 and to $506 million in 2022, the first in Caribbean Assurance’s seventeen-year history that it has hit the half-billion mark for top line income. Profit rose concurrently with revenue, to $56 million in 2021 and a new record high of $78 million last year.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com