Get to know Justine Powell, the woman behind the numbers at Sygnus Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

In a world where numbers sometimes speak louder than words, Justine Powell, AVP of Investment Management at Sygnus, brings her unique blend of passion for numbers and a people-centric approach.

With her keen eye for detail and dedication to clear communication, Powell shares how she navigates the complexities of investment management with finesse and determination.

Attending the Immaculate Conception High School, Powell’s love for math and problem-solving took root. Fuelled by this passion, she pursued a degree in Actuarial Science, at the University of the West Indies, diving deeper into the realms of risk management and financial analysis, eventually landing her current role at Sygnus.

“I’ve always been drawn to challenges,” Powell shares. “Finance seemed like the perfect intersection of my interests.” Now at the age of 30, Powell stands as an example of dedication and an expert in the investment management landscape.

Detailing her journey into investment management, Powell noted, “Having a keen interest in finance, investments and actuarial science, I tried combining my passions and initially decided on becoming an investment actuary. This would allow me to leverage my actuarial skills in investment decision-making. As part of my plan to become an investment actuary, I transitioned from actuarial consulting to risk and fund management after four years because at the time I had no hands-on experience in investments.”

She continued,” The intention was to pursue the second and final actuarial designation, but I quickly realised that this was not an immediate need and I identified other credentials that would fill the gap I had, having joined the investment industry much later than my peers. I did risk and fund management for three years before transitioning to my current role.”

Today, as the AVP of Investment Management at Sygnus and a Certified Financial Risk Manager, she oversees two funds at Sygnus — Sygnus Real Estate Finance Limited and Sygnus Deneb Investments Limited.

Her day typically kicks off at 5:15 a.m. and includes a blend of thorough analysis, strategic decision-making, reporting to stakeholders, risk management, valuation, and shareholder reporting.

Powell also collaborates with teams across the Sygnus Group, spanning investment banking, wealth management, finance, reale estate, legal, marketing, private equity and mergers and acquisitions, and risk. This collaborative effort is integral in accomplishing her daily tasks.

“What I find most rewarding,” Powell reflects, “is the opportunity to shape financial outcomes and craft unique investment strategies that align with our clients’ objectives.”

As a young woman in a leadership position, Powell emphasises the importance of assertive communication in navigating potential biases in the workplace. “Voicing your opinions, sharing your ideas and challenging the status quo in a way that adds value to the organisation, in my opinion, establishes both credibility and presence in the workplace. Assertive communication allows one to articulate their expectations and establish clear boundaries.”

For aspiring women in the field of investment management, Powell emphasises the importance of seizing opportunities for growth, often disguised as new challenges. She advises pursuing professional qualifications to bolster expertise and credibility. Additionally, Powell underscores the significance of paying it forward by serving as a role model and mentor for other women in the industry.

Sharing experiences and championing the next generation of women professionals is integral to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. Balancing professional responsibilities with personal interests is also essential for sustained success, Powell believes.