Mr. Wood started his elementary school education in 1954 at the Korle-Gonno Catholic Boys School (K G Roman), where he passed the Common Entrance Examination and entered Accra Academy, then at James Town, in 1962 for his secondary school education. He obtained the GCE O-Level Certificate in 1967.
Rather than continue academic studies at the University, James chose to pursue a career in industry, joining the State Insurance Corporation (SIC) in 1970. After initial training in the rudiments of Insurance, he was posted to the Marine Claims Department to work as a Marine Hull and Aviation Adjuster.
In 1973, Mr. Wood won an award from the Chartered Insurance Institute, London (Overseas Students Training Scheme) for insurance training in the United Kingdom for 2 years. He studied at the then City of London Polytechnic, now City of London University. As part of the training, he went on attachment to Friends’ Provident and Century Insurance Group of the UK, training in all classes of Business. On successful completion, he was offered a unique opportunity to work as an Underwriting Assistant at the Company’s Desk at Lloyds of London.
In 1975, he returned to SIC and was posted, as Superintendent, to the Marine and Aviation Claims Department, where he was responsible for the adjustment and settlement of Marine Hull, Cargo and Aviation Claims.
In 1977, Mr. Wood was one of the SIC staff, specially selected as Assistant Insurance Underwriters, that set up the Headquarters of the Africa Re-Insurance Corporation (Africa Re) in the Lagos Office, Nigeria. He was one of the pioneering officers in the initial operations of Africa Re and was actively involved in studying the practices and legislation in the Insurance and Reinsurance markets in the various African countries that formed Africa Re. He therefore travelled widely to many of these African countries.
From 1979 to 1988, Mr. Wood was posted as Regional Underwriter to the Africa Re, North Africa office at Casablanca, Morocco, and made supervisor for the underwriting and marketing operations of the Africa Re in the following member countries – Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and Mauritania.
He left Africa Re. in 1988, returned to Ghana and joined Mr. Edward Mensah, who was the founding General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re. Mr. Mensah had then established a Consultancy firm, Edward Mensah and Associates (EMA), that was doing business in International Insurance & Reinsurance Broking and Consultancy in all classes of business. Mr. Wood joined EMA as Executive Director and partner. In 1995, the name of the company was changed to Edward Mensah, Wood and Associates Ltd. (EMWA).
Mr. Wood’s working experience in the Insurance Industry spanned a period of forty (40) years, during which he earned the following qualifications: Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London (A.C.I.I.) – 1977; Chartered Insurance Practitioner – 1995; and Fellow of the Insurance Institute of Ghana (F.G.I.I.) – 1999. He rendered other services to the Insurance Industry in the capacity of Secretary General, the Ghana Insurance Institute; Vice President, Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA) now Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG); and Board member of TV3. He also participated as a member of the Price Waterhouse team that conducted a Diagnostic Study of the Insurance Industry in Ghana – a World Bank Project – in August 1993. For over ten years, he was the chief invigilator for the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) supervising exams and acted in this capacity up until 2011. He served as a Consultant for the Ghana Re Cedant Awards up until November 2020. He also served as a Chairman of the Industry Reinsurance Committee setup in 2015 to Consider utilization of Local Capacity and set Guidelines and Requirements for the Transfer of Reinsurance Premium.
Mr. Wood was Managing Director from 1995 to 2021, he was truly respected locally and internationally, his legacy will forever live on.
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