GAMA is the only association dedicated to promoting the professional development needs and leadership skills of first-line and front-line leaders in the insurance, investment, and financial services industries. In October, CEO Monthly Magazine recognised GAMA International’s CEO, Bonnie Godsman, as the 2018 Finance CEO of the Year. We spoke with Bonnie to find out more about her unique work and extraordinary success.
To put it simply, GAMA International is in the market of recognising and realising business excellence in the financial sectors, whether that be through developing leadership skills or nurturing a brand to better embody a company’s mission and values. The organization is a business accelerator, driving best practices in a sector that has, in recent years, gone through immense change. Today, technology continues to reshape the face of finance, and many of the sector’s leaders need a guiding hand to navigate volatile economic environments. Since inception, GAMA has dedicated themselves to providing that guidance.
As Bonnie explains, GAMA’s platform offers an unrivalled opportunity for business leaders to discuss and grow their business and receive recognition for their efforts. “Our commitment to providing members with research-based, world-class education and training resources is second to none.” Ultimately, GAMA boasts a neutral venue where members can network with peers and offers exclusive opportunities for professional growth and award recognition to leaders who achieve standards of excellence.”
“Leadership is our passion. We are driven to inspire and equip financial services professionals all over the world. Our vision, at the end of the day, is to secure financial futures through excellence and leadership.”
Their members represent top-tier talent from some of the world’s largest, and most successful companies, alongside SMEs and boutique firms. With that in mind, GAMA’s membership base offers ample opportunity to learn and converse with true experts, acting as a hub of innovation and further elevating the extraordinarily high standards of excellence in the financial world. Bonnie takes a moment to comment on GAMA’s member profiles. “We have first-line leaders, such as General Agents, OSJs and Managing Partners, and front-line leaders such as firm owners and Managing Directors, who are responsible for the strategic leadership, operational management, recruitment and training of a firm.
Then we have Corporate Executives, who are responsible for providing key leadership or support to the corporation’s field leaders or sales force, such as Chief Learning Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Distribution Officers. Other member groups include Recruiters, Marketing Directors,
Trainers and Compliance Officers.” GAMA’s members are an eclectic selection, offering a broad range of knowledge that is vital for securing enduring success in the modern business age.
Bonnie continues, discussing in more detail the clients that GAMA serves. “We serve clients who are leaders. Being a non-profit we look to partner as a thought-leadership partner and a professional development resource. We approach clients who share our vision and mission and who -often- have a natural calling to do well by doing well in our profession.”
The conversation soon turns to GAMA’s success, and Bonnie again leans on the quality of their members in differentiating them from any potential competition in the sector. “Our organisation is successful because it is a servant volunteer driven organization. Equally, our members are the best and brightest leaders in the financial services space.”
GAMA’s staff too, are critical in driving the firm’s fearless reputation: “The staff are the key players to our success. A dedicated and knowledgeable team at headquarters are just as important as a dedicated volunteer base for GAMA.
We have worked hard to create a culture of team-minded, trusting and innovative individuals who collaborate daily to deliver excellence to our stakeholders.”
Finally, in her closing comments, Bonnie speaks of GAMA’s future, alongside that of the greater industry in the wake of regulation and difficulties in recruiting new talent: “The financial services industry is facing a few key challenges: government regulation is affecting how we can secure financial futures; additionally, we continue to struggle with promoting our profession to millennials. Financial planning, unfortunately, is undervalued as the noble career it truly is. Leadership is a crucial solution to all of our challenges.”
“The focus for GAMA in 2019 will be to be a partner with our members to: Build our Leadership bench (secession strategies), mentoring and study group opportunities, and delivering a micro-content-based learning experience.”
Contact: Bonnie Godsman
Company: GAMA International
Address: 3112 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, 22042, USA
Telephone: 1 5714994311
Finance CEO of the Year