With a business administration qualification and various insurance industry qualifications, Joleen Mans is on her way to making a great name for herself.
“I started as a secretary with Alexander Forbes in 1999 and went through the ranks in the consulting department from an assistant consultant to a senior consultant with my own client portfolio.
“Now I am heading up the consulting department with a team of 11 consultants,” she says.
Her job is to be the face of Alexander Forbes.
“We are responsible for the relationship with our clients.” The main focus of their consulting approach is to:
· look at employee benefit (EB) arrangements holistically to provide integrated solutions to clients through ideal insurance arrangements;
· review investment portfolios in terms of the retirement fund’s investment philosophy; and
· help create the right investment portfolios at the right time.
Mans says they also provide appropriate support, education and advice to members. Her team addresses similarities or gaps within EB arrangements for employers.
“We have to consult our clients on any legislative matters and be informed of all statutory requirements affecting the industry.
“From day to day we prepare and undertake trustee and management committee meetings and assist our clients as mentioned earlier,” she adds.
Mans is excited and enthusiastic about what she does and wants to inspire her colleagues to love being a part of this specialised environment.
The initial plan
After school, Mans studied towards a diploma in nature conservation, but later realised that her love for nature does not necessarily mean that she has to pursue it as a career.
“I wanted to go corporate and went straight into the job market. For four years I was an office assistant at an insurance company, Southern Life, and when the company withdrew from Namibia I started my career with Alexander Forbes.
Although her work requires long hours and much dedication, she says that during her journey with the company she has learnt about respect, trust and teamwork. She also says that relationships are key.
Mans’s passion and tenacity speaks for itself. She says she wants to be part of the legacy of Alexander Forbes that is trusted to be the preferred service provider for employers’ EB arrangements in Namibia.
Her advice to young people in Namibia and everywhere else: “Commitment to hard work is important. Learn to love what you are doing and hold yourself accountable for your actions; don’t let others do it for you.”
· I’m a bit obsessive about organising
· I talk too fast
· I am empathetic towards others’ feelings
· I am an early bird – I can’t sleep in