- Corporate Commitment
The FDP is supported with financial and strategic resources to ensure the growth and sustainability of the program.
- Dedicated Program Director
A dedicated program director develops the members of the program and its brand. The director’s responsibilities include coordinating recruitment efforts, member coaching, rotation opportunities, as well as facilitating training and building key relationships with senior stakeholders in the company. This role is a rotational assignment and filled by a FDP graduate.
- Senior Leader Involvement
The FDP is a program managed by leaders for leaders. Senior financial managers support program policy, coach and council members, and participate in parts of the training curriculum. FDP managers create challenging on-the-job learning by providing a stimulating work environment. They provide feedback and coaching to members on specific work performance as well as competency development. The Senior Vice President of Human Resources supporting finance works closely with the Program Director, the business financial officers and the Chief Financial Officer to ensure the leadership program is helping Cigna develop world-class financial leaders.
- Steering Committee and Advisory Board
Two oversight committees help to guide the program. The steering committee is made up of program graduates (director-level and above) and is used as a sounding board for tactical decisions. The advisory board comprises senior leaders who help set the strategic direction of the program. Both groups are also actively involved with the coaching and development of members.
- Selective Recruiting and Clear Continuing Membership Criteria
Cigna’s selective recruiting practices and membership criteria help sustain the quality of the FDP. Cigna recruits CPAs and MBAs with two to four years of financial experience. Cigna looks for candidates with strong communication and interpersonal skills, leadership potential, and a strong financial acumen. Over the last year, less than 10 percent of those who applied were selected for an initial interview and only 25 percent of those who were interviewed received an offer to join the program. To stay in the program and graduate, members need to maintain a certain level of performance and progression.
- Extensive Rotational Assignments
Program members go through three to five assignments in Finance and other areas to broaden their skills. Each assignment is 18 to 24 months long. Each member has a different experience based on their personal career goals, development needs and timing of their rotations. As one member stated, “The longer rotations (compared to other programs) allow the roles to be much more challenging and complex while adding significant value to the company’s bottom line immediately.”
- Networking Opportunities with Senior Management, Graduates and Peers
The FDP hosts charitable and social events throughout the year to help create a strong sense of community and allow members to informally network and demonstrate social responsibility. The sense of community continues after graduation, as graduates become champions of the FDP by managing and coaching current members.
- Extensive Training Curriculum
FDP members go through a variety of training experiences, such as informal senior leadership discussions to formal classroom training and career workshops.
Examples of training opportunities:
- Formal sessions and workshops: Myers-Briggs, emotional intelligence, Six Sigma, negotiations, conflict management, Excel and Access.
- Financial Interrelations Seminar: The goal of Financial Interrelations Seminar is to expand financial knowledge base and to increase awareness of the effect of key profit levers on financial decision-making achieved through the application of financial concepts and skills to Cigna-specific case studies.
- Analyst call speakers: Senior leaders are invited quarterly to review earnings, provide their input, and present an overview of their function.
- Cross Program Summit: A two-day off-site training seminar with Cigna program members across the company.
- New York Stock Exchange field trip: A unique educational opportunity for the FDP to learn about the New York Stock Exchange; talk about Cigna's performance and strategy, and network with colleagues across functions and offices. It offers the opportunity to gain perspectives from “the Street” and obtain a better understanding of how Cigna is viewed externally.
- Informal opportunities: Other opportunities include a welcoming committee, happy hours, pizza lunches, speed networking event, CPA and MBA affiliations, and community service activities.