Denleigh Wilensky, Executive Director at HIU, describes her path to success.

After I started my career in insurance in 1992, my real path to success started in 2000. I started at HIU in September of that year, and having moved from Alexander Forbes, I found it initially very difficult coming from a large corporate to a small business.

I was employed as a portfolio manager and called on brokers; I always had a passion within myself to be successful in everything I do. I wanted to make a difference in the company and give the best service in the market. I was later promoted to underwriting manager, which was a challenge as, at the time of the business, there were no proper systems in place. When I look back at all the processes I implemented 10 years ago, and at how the underwriting department works now, it is truly an amazing transition. No more making manual files, but using electronic scanning.

We then had a change of management and Rory Gainsford gave me a wonderful opportunity by mentoring me and helping me run HIU. I was promoted to General Manager and now, three years later, am executive director and shareholder. This fast ‘run’ up the corporate ladder was definitely owing to hard work and dedication and taking an opportunity that was given to me and making the most of it.

I have always been a person who is driven and when I set a goal I achieve it. In 2000, my husband and I completed our first Comrades marathon, and in 2001 we ran the London marathon. I then completed my second Comrades and achieved my goal by obtaining a Bill Rowan medal (8:42).

My husband and I then decided to start a family and we have two beautiful children aged seven and four.

I completed my third Comrades last year (8:55). I decided that, this year, I needed another challenge so I completed Two Oceans (4:55) and Comrades (8:44) in the same year.

Everyone wants to be successful … it just boils down to getting opportunities and having enough passion and drive within yourself to achieve your goals.

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