Rob Bancroft talks to Chriselle Kalaw… about fun with numbers, political family life and the logic of life.

Chriselle sees the beauty of simplicity. That’s why she thrives in her position as Product Design Specialist at Allan Financial. Chriselle takes confusing information and communicates it in a way that clients can easily understand. She facilitates tough decision-making. Translation of complexity is her gift; considering economic trends, identifying unique opportunities, and presenting customized solutions. She does it with grace.
Where does this woman get her unique vision? Raised and educated in Manila, Chriselle’s international outlook rings true with other young hardworking global types. As she puts it, “I’m passionate about rethinking insurance…some believe financial services is a boring, old school environment. But we are pushing it forward…and now we’re leveraging money for good with Kiva. That’s so fresh. You don’t change the world by trying to fit in.” Chriselle is on the rising tide of Millenials making their mark on the Vancouver business world.



Rob: Can you tell me about your role? What makes you good at what you do?

CK: I am the Product Design Specialist at Allan Financial…and it’s my pleasing personality. Kidding! *chuckles* My work entails creativity and a keen attention to detail – which ties in with my strengths. I can design facts or data in ways that provoke questions en-route to excellent solutions. It’s funny, I always tell my friends “I DO over think things and analyze every perspective. That is exactly what makes me good at my job!”.

Rob: I understand that you plan to start writing for the Allan Financial blog. What sorts of things can we expect to be hearing about?

CK: Yes! I’m really stoked about that. I plan on writing about Millennials in the workplace and what they’re all about: types of leadership, cross-cultural diversity and social engagement. There are complicated conversations that are happening between the generations. It comes into play in estate planning and insurance all the time. Most of our clients are Boomers. They are being served increasingly by Millennials – there are inherent tensions.

Rob: Ross Allan is an innovative guy, and Allan Financial is always pushing the envelope. What does that looks like from your chair in product design?

CK: Like I said earlier – innovation is illuminating opportunities and solutions. Ross brings the big picture concepts to my desk and I take care of the nitty-grittys. I provide options, and high level customization is what’s expected. The challenge is making sure the behind the scenes numbers translate into an appealing offering. I’ve got to present figures to ensure clients see value. Insurance is a whole new marketplace today – consumers have discretion. We must honor that.

Rob: You were raised and educated in Manila and you have deep family roots in the Philippines. How has your international experience equipped you for your work?

CK: Great question. Growing up in Manila has instilled the values I hold personally and professionally. I come from a family that is actively involved in politics. Growing up with leaders, I’ve had to think about whom to hang out with. I’ve always had to decipher strengths and weaknesses. Logic comes before emotion in our family. I believe this perspective has helped to get me where I am today in the financial services field. Clear analysis is important. Emotional intelligence and mad social skills are Ross’s world .

The question I am always asking myself is how we can do better. That’s what is really exciting in the Allan Financial / Kiva project. It reflects where logic and finance intersect in the very best of ways. And we are coming up with new answers.

(Read Chriselle’s thoughts on “Modern Life Insurance” on the Allan Financial blog).