BusinessDay

A resourceful professional creating value in the insurance industry

Mrs. Joyce Ojemudia, Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance PLC

Mrs. Joyce Ojemudia is an accomplished insurance professional and astute manager of resources with over twenty years of experience in insurance sales, business development, risk management, claims administration and reinsurance. She started her career as a Marketing Executive at Healthcare International (a Health Maintenance Organisation) before she grew to become Deputy Head at Linkage Assurance PLC in 2002. There, she oversaw all the branch activities of the company as it relates to Marketing and contributed to the increase in market share and profitability of the underwriter.

Her sterling qualities brought her to the notice of STACO Insurance PLC in 2007 where she made her mark as Assistant General Manager, with responsibilities to coordinate and monitor the marketing activities in the public sector and direct corporate clients.

Joyce’s excellence and drive at STACO Insurance was rewarded with a promotion to Assistant Director in 2011, a role that required her to formulate and execute strategic business plans for the public sector in addition to her marketing duties. In late 2016, she was back at Linkage Assurance as General Manager, tasked with managing and coordinating the entire marketing department, which had four sub-units viz Bancassurance, Financial Institution, Brokers Market and Direct Corporate. Joyce was also involved in strategic top management decisions for the entire company up until her exit in 2020.

She is an alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School (SMP 40) and the University of Lagos where she had her first and second degrees in Insurance and Risk Management respectively. She is also a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, and an Associate of both the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria.

A thoroughbred professional, Joyce is currently rounding up her PhD in Entrepreneurship at Joseph Ayo Babalola University. A most agreeable team player and service-oriented leader, Joyce has served on various industry committees in the course of her 21-year career. Some of these include:- Member, Investiture Committee, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (2020); Member, Education Committee, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (2019 till date); Convener, PILA/AIO Conference (2021); President, She was elected the President of the Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA) in 2021, the elite body of professional women in Insurance on the continent. Under her watch, the professional association successfully hosted the first ever Africa-wide side event at the continental African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference during its 47th edition in Lagos.
Few months after her ascension to the PILA top position, she was appointed the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of African Alliance Insurance PLC, Nigeria’s foremost indigenously-owned life insurer with over 50,000 active policyholders spanning over three generations.

In June 2021, she was recognised by Business Day Media as one of 30 Notable Alumni of the prestigious Lagos Business School. In May 2022, she was recognised as a Queen Amina Heroine Awardee by the United Nations Positive Livelihood and Awards Centre (UN POLAC Foundation). With her committed to helping families who are unable to have children, she floated the Joyce Ojemudia Foundation four (4) years ago. A not-for-profit organisation committed to this cause.

What would you describe as the greatest passion that has brought you this far in your Career?
If I’m to pick the greatest passion that has brought me this far in my career, I would say it’s my work ethic. I am an individual who is passionate about her work ethic because I’m motivated by the success of my work. As a result, I take every opportunity as the only opportunity, giving my best at every job and task irrespective of its value. No matter how small a task or job is, I always strive for excellence.

This has always been the way I have approached every task since I got my first job and it has made all the difference. Today, I am an MD/CEO with vast amount of responsibilities and I never take any opportunity lightly. I always tell my staff that opportunities will always find those who are recognized as someone who excels at all times in their work despite who is watching or who isn’t. Most importantly, I stress that the grace of God has been my greatest enabler to harness these opportunities.

With the various top positions mostly dominated by men, what qualities or ways do you think are required or needed for a woman to be at the top?
Any individual, man or woman despite their gender whose aim is to be at the top must have a clear vision of what they want and set achievable goals on how to get there. If you do not have a dream you will have nothing to aspire towards. Being at the top is not a decision that can be made on a whim, it is forethought process that one approaches gradually, equipping one’s self adequately to take up space when the opportunity arises.

Personally, some of the qualities or ways I would highlight for any individual especially women aiming for the top would be to; Acquire the right skills and continue self-development. Success is guaranteed when you are equipped with the right skills to manage an opportunity when it arises. Have vision and focus. Being a visionary will guide you to channel your acquired skills in the right activities and appropriate manner. Mentorship.

This is key. Remember to participate in mentorship both as a mentor and a mentee. Having someone who has been in the place you which to enter as a mentor will provide you with concrete knowledge, experience and insights. Be committed to service, not just in your industry but to your sphere of contact at large. Service is a training ground for success. Thus, be ready to serve!

As the CEO, can you share with us some of the successes and achievements of African Alliance Insurance Plc for the year 2022?
A major accomplishment which we continue to express is that African Alliance Insurance Plc has demonstrated its commitment to customer satisfaction with the payment of N6.65 billion in claims as of the end of the third quarter this year.

Amid the current economic imbalance and crippling inflation, African Alliance continued to pay legitimate claims as and when due. This commitment to our customers did not go unnoticed as it earned us the award of Insurance Company of the Year at the recently held BAFI Awards for Claims Excellence. This is a testament of how committed we are to serving our clients and an achievement we are proud of.
In addition, we were recertified by PCEB on ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management (BCM). This is further confirmation of African Alliance’s ability to deliver in every situation and commitment to be with our stakeholders for life. We were also issued the Insurtech Excellence Award by Fennovex West Africa as a recognition of our efforts and participation in Insurtech by using technology to proffer Insurance solutions.

What are the projections for the years ahead in the area of portfolio expansions for African Alliance Insurance Plc?
Our projection is to be at the top always. To be the leading penetrator of life insurance in the industry with the gospel of our insurance reaching every geopolitical zone of the nation while maintaining our reputation as an excellent organization in terms of payment of genuine claims. Also, we strive to be within reach of every customer by improving our online presence as well as driving business through Insurtech.