Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2015 Contents practices may differ from place to place,
but that s all part of the fun.
Describe your management style.
I d like to think that I have many
management styles. While I will always
be who I am, I try to recognise the best
ways to reach people. That probably
comes from my background in sales.
It s important that I am able to work
with people from so many different
cultures and backgrounds.
I can be a bit straightforward and I
usually preface those kinds of direct
comments with "Now I m going to be
an American..." A sense of humour
helps to get staff to understand what
we need from them in a non-threat-
ening way. I can be impatient, with an
expectation that people will work as
hard as I do to get things done--and in
a timely manner.
I like to see people who grab onto
an issue, a department or a business
and manage it hands-on to achieve
What do you feel are the greatest
accomplishments of your career thus
My businesses have always grown
profitably and provided outstanding
customer service. If we re talking in
more specific terms, I would say the
biggest accomplishment was selling the
world s largest group insurance contract,
covering over one million people. But
my favourite accomplishment is what
I ve been able to do to help people in
their careers. Developing people, coach-
ing them, giving them opportunities
to succeed and seeing their success
truly means a lot to me. I m lucky to
have been able to mentor people all
over the world and luckier still to count
many of them as friends to this day.
What daily motto/credo do you live
by and in a few words, your recipe for
Game day! When I was growing up,
I always loved practices after school
and on weekends, but there was always
something special on game days. When
you re in sales or the business world,
every day is game day! I get great inspi-
ration from poems like Results or Roses,
Don t Quit, and the Man in the Mirror
which I have been reciting for years.
Your last name, uncommon in T&T,
except for those of us who watch the
TV sitcom Hogan s Heroes. Tell us a
bit about it please.
"I know nothing," was the line Sgt
Schultz used to say in that show. I grew
up with that comment--especially if I
didn t know an answer in school. It s
a very common name in Germany with
many different spellings like Charles
Schulz who created the Peanuts char-
acters. My father s side of the family
is from Germany and Poland and they
came to the US fairly early on.
Trinis have their own special accent
and lingo. Any stories to tell in that
One of the things I ve enjoyed is
learning a new language in T&T. I got
really confused when someone told me
they wouldn t be "out" tomorrow. I
assumed that meant they would be in
the office. But here, not out means
you re not in the office. Or the time
someone told me they wanted to table
an issue, which means they want to
talk about it now. In American English,
it means you want to talk about it
sometime in the future.
What are the main trends in your
industry right now?
It is important that we provide the
right kinds of products on the life,
health and accident sides of our busi-
ness. While there are a lot of trends
impacting the insurance business, peo-
ple still need to protect their families
and make plans for retirement. Insur-
ance plays an important part of every-
one s financial planning. Providing for
your future and protecting your loved
ones security should be foremost in
everyone s mind.
What is your favourite pastime/
interest/hobby outside of your work
in the insurance industry?
I ve already mentioned golf and I
really enjoy puzzles of all kinds--cross-
words, Sudoku and KenKen. I also love
to read books I like as well as those my
wife "assigns" to me!
What are some of your more mem-
orable experiences so far in T&T?
Number one has to be the
leatherback turtles at Grande Riviere.
What an experience that was. I can t
wait until next year! Lisa and I have
also enjoyed Yerette, Caroni, Asa
Wright, Lopinot, Divali Nagar and of
course, J Ouvert and Carnival. Not to
mention the great food---doubles, bake
and shark, even just the pepper sauce!
And of course, making friends with so
many lovely people from T&T.
Do you plan to play mas? What is
your favourite soca song?
I played J Ouvert last year as a Cocoa
Devil---just Lisa, me and 998 of my
closest Trinidadian friends. I don t know
yet about playing mas. I guess it
depends on what kind of costume I
might get to wear. I guess I would have
to say Like a Boss because it fits. But
I very much like Vagabond, and I even
got to sing it with Ricardo Drue last
year during our Soca on the Plaza at
Describe yourself in two words, one
beginning with B, the other with S,
These have always been tough initials
to have. But let s go with Balanced and
NOTE: If you are an expat based
here and would like to talk about
your Trini experience in this series,
October 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
endeavours and of whom we are
Where do you see the company
in five years?
I expect Pan-American Life to
have grown significantly. I expect
tremendous advances in all parts
of our business as a result of our
continued investment in technol-
ogy, product development and
most importantly, people. We want
to keep developing the strong team
of people that, through their ability
to embrace positive change, will
help us establish Pan-American
Life as the partner of choice for
life, accident and health insurance
in the Caribbean.
How long do you plan to stay
I really don t know at this point.
I m enjoying the challenges and
very excited about the opportu-
nities that exist here. I can safely
say that even after I do leave, I ll
look to stay involved with this
business and our people. T&T has
so much to offer. I know that when
I leave, I ll miss the great people,
the mountains, and the good food!
What do you foresee as the
major differences in managing
your company s entities here
compared to those in other parts
of the world?
The principles of a well-run
insurance company are no different
here compared to anywhere else
in the world. To be successful, we
need competitive products, out-
standing customer service, and
great people inside the company
and as producers. Insurance reg-
ulations, cultures and business
Expat fits easily into Trini life
From singing Vagabond to playing J'Ouvert...
From Page B8
CEO Pan-American Life
Insurance Group William Schultz
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