Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2015 Contents SBG4 PROFILE
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 15 • 2015
security of a
job with the
Inland Revenue for the uncharted territory
offered by a new company, featuring a financial
concept few in T&T had heard of in the early
"I am very entrepreneurial," said Gayle
Daniel-Worrell, vice president, marketing,
communications and distribution channels at
the Unit Trust Corporation. "I think working
at UTC as a growing company, my type of
personality was perfect for that, because Unit
Trust was very entrepreneurial. Remember,
nobody else was like us."
The 54-year-old Daniel-Worrell started at
the Unit Trust in 1988, six years after its incep-
tion. The corporation was still a part of the
Central Bank, with its offices on the 12th floor
of the Eric Williams Financial Complex. Daniel
was one of the corporation s two marketing
officers, who worked with now the deceased
Renrick Nickie, its then marketing manager.
"The UTC was relatively new at the time.
People were not sure what it was," explained
It was up to the small marketing team to
sell the "small man" in T&T the idea of col-
lectively investing their funds in a pool.
"We went around the country talking to
people about the Unit Trust concept: why it
was going to be beneficial to them and why
they needed to invest and not just save. We
talked to anybody who would listen. People
under a tree, in a boardroom, factory workers,
a group of insurance agents, teachers, firemen,
army, police, coastguardsmen."
Daniel-Worrell said they even made the trip
twice via helicopter to speak to oil workers on
an offshore rig when this was still allowed.
But what was this Unit Trust concept they
were trying to sell?
It was relatively simple, said Daniel-Worrell.
At the time, the large investor who was able
to put millions of dollars up, would earn returns
of around 10 per cent. The small investor,
meanwhile, would only be able to get between
five and six per cent. The Unit Trust, however,
would gather the money of many individual
investors and then take these millions, receive
returns of 10 per cent as well, giving eight to
the unit holders and keeping two for the cor-
In the 27 years she has worked at the Unit
Trust Corporation, Daniel-Worrell has seen
the organisation s annual sales rise from $26
million to $5 billion.
She has also been integral in the development
of several of its key products, including the
US Income Fund.
And it was the opportunity to be part of
this growth that she left her job as a tax officer
with the Board of Inland Revenue.
But taking a risk, hard work and the entre-
preneurial spirit were qualities that Daniel-
Worrell had developed long before her days
at the indigenous financial institution.
She left Trinidad with her parents---Trevor
and Jean Daniel---at the age of nine to live in
Boston. There she attended grade, middle and
high school. Daniel-Worrell said her father,
who was a policeman, wanted a better life for
the family so he left first. Her mother, who
was a teacher, left. Then other members of
his family followed. When her parents made
the decision to return to Trinidad, Daniel-
Worrell elected to stay, working a part-time
job to support herself in her final months of
"I still have the check where I worked for
my cap and gown. I paid for my own cap and
gown to graduate from high school."
The choice of what to study at college
loomed before her. Initially, she wanted to do
art, but an immediate need to pay bills forced
her to reconsider her options. She finally settled
on marketing, since this allowed her to be cre-
ative, yet still be a lucrative career.
She began missing her parents and began
considering going back home to Trinidad, and
see if she could live there.
This first visit back home lasted six months.
She thought she would look for a job and her
aunt suggested meeting Helen Drayton, who
was the head of marketing at Royal Bank at
the time. She went with hopes of getting a
job in advertising or marketing but nothing
else, something she said Drayton was quick
to point out.
"In the interview she asked me: what expe-
rience do you have ? Have you ever done any
ads? Can you do copywriting? What can you
I said: "well, nothing. I just have an interest
in advertising. Drayton said she needed some-
body with skills and I did not get the job of
Daniel-Worrell said she learned that day
the Trinidadian adage of "it s who you know",
was just a myth. Her meeting with Drayton
would teach her that one needed skills to get
ahead and she set out to acquire them.
She recounted that she got a job at the only
place she "had the skills" to work at: the UWI
Bookshop. It was here she made a commitment
to go back to college in the US, but return to
"When I went back (to the US), I changed
my major from marketing to finance, again,
because of Helen Drayton. She was working
in a bank, and she was head of marketing. I
realised it is not just the creative skills you
needed, you need to understand the industry
of banking and finance."
Daniel said she doesn t think that she has
ever told Drayton how much of an influence
she has had on her career, even though they
are good friends and neighbours now.
The vice president switched schools, leaving
Northeastern in Boston---where she started
marketing---to attend Washington DC and
Howard University to major in finance.
Her parents could not afford her schooling.
She completed this with the help of grants.
Daniel-Worrell said she was fortunate to have
been able to access so many, that unlike today s
college student, she actually had a surplus of
funds after she finished her degree.
"I had money left over, and the school pays
you the money. A friend and I took a trip to
Paris for 11 days. My graduation present to
Continued on Page 5
PHOTO COURTESY UTC
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