Over eighteen years at Citco Fund Services (USA) Inc., JoAnn Duran has led with her core values. Upholding these values are what contributes to her personal growth, positive relationships, and a strong sense of character. The senior vice president of human resources attributes much of the way she leads today to her Dominican immigrant parents who worked hard, her father working two jobs at once, to make a better life for their children. The middle child of six, Duran’s family unit was and remains as tight as they come.
“From my grandparents, my great aunts and uncles, and first cousins who feel like brothers and sisters to us, the focus on family and humanity is what still is most important for me today,” she explains. “The word ‘loyalty’ is ever-present in my thoughts. I think that explains what has kept me at Citco for so many years and what informs how I lead. Trust, integrity and loyalty are so important to me, and I believe those same core values are important to Citco.”
Duran has been at Citco long enough to experience both the best and the worst of the marketplace. She has seen the boom times and recessions. She has seen how her organization responds through it all and continues to move the business forward.
And she’s not the only one.
“I think what you hear from me today is something that you would hear repeated many times over throughout Citco,” the SVP says. “We have so many tenured and talented employees who have helped create that secret sauce of what makes this place so special. While we’ve grown over the years, I still feel that connection to that small company I began working for. I’ve seen integrity continue to be at the forefront of what we do.”
Duran’s plate is as full as ever. In June 2023, Citco announced it had chosen Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, as the latest base for a new client support center. It’s the first center of its kind on Puerto Rico’s West Coast, and the company hopes it can create a talent-base for institutional financial businesses. “Puerto Rico has absorbed quite a bit of my time lately, and we want to ensure that the employee experience mirrors that of the Citco way,” she says.
In a role that requires Duran to consistently make herself open and available to those who need it, the SVP came to an important realization during the COVID-19 pandemic. After spending so many of her waking moments responding to potential crisis after potential crisis, she had come to feel a sense of isolation, almost as if she was trapped in her skin.
“I was learning all of the time, then after attending an internal coaching program at Citco, I realized that I really hadn’t been doing anything for my own health and well-being,” she says. Duran knew she needed to make a change, and she has.
Duran made 2023 a year of self-discovery. She earned her yellow belt certification in Lean Six Sigma, she’s engaged in multiple LinkedIn Learning opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, she’s started taking some moments just to breathe.
“I’ve focused on learning some strategies to help myself and others through those challenging times,” she explains. “That means taking a moment to pause intentionally by breathing and meditating, creating small habits that can blossom into something bigger and more sustainable. Taking care of your physical and emotional health is essential for happiness and to continue to give to others.”
The SVP also strives to connect more personally to those around her. While her spirit fills any room, she’s seeking out ways to connect in different and more meaningful ways with her community. The HR pro has endeavored to present more of her life and vision on social media and, hopefully, create a stronger bond with Citco employees and extended colleagues alike. This realization is important for those who spend their careers serving others. While service fills her cup, self-service can often fall by the wayside completely.
Her dedication has also been well received by her external partners. “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with JoAnn and the Citco team during her tenure and observe her become the consummate HR professional,” says Ken Kirschner, partner at Hogan Lovells. “She is an exceptional person and dedicated to Citco and its employees.”
As she continues to evolve in new ways, Duran’s leadership and vision will be served by the time she takes to reflect on where she is, how she got there, and what will continue to make her whole.
It’s a feeling she wants for everyone at Citco, and JoAnn Duran ready to lead by example.
Congratulations JoAnn Duran for your recognition and well-deserved honor! Lockton is proud to partner with Citco Fund Services and help make their organization more successful and people’s lives better, through total rewards and benefits that attract and retain the very best associates. Visit lockton.com to learn how we can help.