A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to bbb+ from bbb and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) of Partners Life Limited.
Partners Life Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne says, “We are pleased to have received an uplift of our Issuer Credit Rating. As a young company our rating was always constrained. Having now reached our five-year milestone, the continued strong earnings performance of the company, coupled with Blackstone’s $200 million capital commitment, has led A.M. Best to this ratings upgrade.”
“Alongside our increased capital position, in upgrading our rating A.M. Best has also recognized our leading market share, competitive advantages in term of cost efficiency and close ties with the financial adviser channel.”
Sean Kam, Partners Life CFO, says,
“Blackstone’s investment gives us incredible financial flexibility. The investment was completed late last year and we are working through our plans to best use the capital. We anticipate that A.M. Best will give us further credit for this as we begin to deploy the capital over the next 12 to 18 months.”
For the latest rating, access www.ambest.com
Partners Life names Jim Minto as new Chairman
Coming off its first five years of successful start-up development and rapid growth, New Zealand's leading life insurer Partners Life has appointed well-known and respected Australasian industry personality Jim Minto as its new Chairman.
The appointment – which also follows the company's $200 million private equity investment from the Blackstone Group – comes after current Chairman Sam Knowles' decision to step down. Mr Knowles will stay on as a director for both Partners Life Limited and Partners Group Holdings Limited.
Partners Life Founder and Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne says Mr Minto has been a prominent presence in Australia's and New Zealand's life insurance industries for more than three decades.
"Jim Minto has long been an industry stalwart that I have huge admiration and respect for. His longevity and success in the life insurance industry, coupled with his reputation for leadership based on principles and values, makes him a perfect fit for Partners Life.
"We owe a significant debt of gratitude to Sam Knowles for his Chairmanship throughout our start-up phase and I am very pleased to now have access to the wise counsel and support of both of these gentlemen," she said.
Mr Minto says he is looking forward to working with Naomi Ballantyne and the team at Partners Life as they build on the company's growth and valuable partnerships with advisers.
"It is ten years since I have directly worked in New Zealand, but the connection has always been a strong one for me. I am looking forward to being part of this very good New Zealand success story, which I have been watching with great interest from Australia over the past few years.
"I have always believed that life insurance delivers tremendous value for people and it has a great social purpose by giving people dignity in times of illness and bereavement. Partners Life plays a key role in doing that for New Zealanders and I am proud to be part of it," says Mr Minto, whose previous roles include Managing Director of Tower Trust NZ, Tower Managed Funds, Tower Health and Life New Zealand, Chief Executive of Tower NZ and Australia and CEO of Tower Limited. He was CEO of TAL, the largest life insurer in Australia, from 2006.
The former Executive Officer of Dai-ichi Life Japan also played an active role across a range of industry bodies before retiring from his executive career in 2015 to concentrate on significant governance roles.
Outgoing Chairman Sam Knowles says it has been a privilege to chair the Partners Life Board over the past five years as the company developed into the substantial life insurer it is today.
"The company is very well positioned to take a more substantial industry leadership role and I believe that this is an appropriate time for me to hand the chairmanship over to Jim who brings the connections, reputation and experience required to govern the increasingly complex entity that Partners Life is becoming.
"I am delighted to still be able to work alongside Jim, my fellow directors and the executive team to continue to drive the success of Partners Life," Mr Knowles said.
A chartered accountant by profession, Mr Minto was educated at Napier Boys High School and Massey University. Later studies include the Victoria University CEO Programme, the London Business School Proteus and most recently Cambridge University Prince of Wales Sustainability November 2015.
Mr Minto has also worked as interim CEO ASFA (Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia). He has been Chairman of several organisations, including ASFA, the Trustee Corporations Association of NZ, Arch-Diocesan Development Fund New Zealand and the IAFP (NZ Financial Planning Industry) Taskforce on Regulation of the Investment Advisory Industry.
Mr Minto is currently also a Director of AFG Australian Finance Group (ASX AFG) and Dai-ichi Life Asia Pacific.
Partners Life have done it again and were the only company to receive a 5 star rating from the annual Lewers Survey of Independent Advisers (Formally Beaton Survey) for 2016.
Partners Life once again improved on the previous years achievement and scored an overall satisfaction rating of 86.4% up from last year's rating of 86%.
We are delighted with the results and are very proud of everyone who has been part of this amazing achievement.
Partners Life has confirmed a $200 million investment commitment from funds managed by Blackstone Group
The New York-headquartered Blackstone is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the world’s largest asset managers with more than $500 billion (US$344 billion) in assets under management.
Its substantial capital investment in Partners Life equates to a significant minority shareholding in the company, and follows Blackstone’s recent purchase of five New Zealand retirement villages. The investment in Partners Life is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Partners Life is New Zealand’s newest life and health insurer, and has rapidly become one of its most successful. Since its launch in April 2011 the company has attracted close to 130,000 customers and has received numerous awards and accolades for its fresh, innovative approach to delivering customer value.
Of the investment from the Blackstone, Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director of Partners Life says, “We have experienced rapid growth since inception and have completed a number of successful capital raisings to support that growth. Partnering with Blackstone at this stage of our evolution means Partners medium term capital requirements will be satisfied, without further need to go back to equity markets. The $200 million is all new capital, meaning existing shareholders will remain co-invested alongside Blackstone.
"We intend to go for a public listing when market conditions are right, and the support of Blackstone up to and throughout a future listing process will allow the company to solidify its market leading position in New Zealand.
"The best possible endorsement of our business is to have a world-leading organisation like Blackstone join us in achieving our goals, which can now become significantly more ambitious thanks to this substantial investment.
"We are proud of the company Partners Life has become with the ongoing support of our existing shareholders. We have disrupted the New Zealand life insurance market to the benefit of advisers and their customers, and we plan to continue to revolutionise the industry. We are excited about our future in partnership with Blackstone.”
“We are delighted to announce our investment in Partners Life, an innovative player in the insurance sector. Through our engagement with the Company, we have been impressed with the growth achieved by Partners Life as well as the quality of its management team and customer centric approach," said Kishore Moorjani, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. “Given Blackstone's experience in the insurance sector, we look forward to supporting the Company in achieving its strategic objectives and maximising value for all shareholders.”
The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) awards were held on 5th November 2015 in Auckland. ANZIIF is the leading provider of education, training and professional development for our industry in Australasia, and the awards are a well-respected annual event.
There is only one award specifically for Life Insurance companies, the aptly named Life Insurance Company of the Year. We are very proud to announce that Partners Life won this award, meaning we hold the 2015 PAA Insurance Provider Award and the 2015 ANZIIF Life Insurance Company of the Year Award concurrently.
This is a remarkable achievement and all of the team here at Partners Life are very appreciative of these external acknowledgements of our hard work.
In addition, our very own Naomi Ballantyne was awarded the prestigious ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement award. This award is a rare recognition and one which is richly deserved – there are very few people who can claim Naomi's longevity in this industry (33 years and counting), and there is absolutely no one who can claim to have had the level of achievement and influence Naomi has had in that time. She has made a substantial contribution to the industry in general – from product development, industry education and process engineering right through to industry regulations, Naomi has left an indelible mark on life insurance in New Zealand, and on many of the industry's most talented people, including our own staff and advisers.
Naomi has many amazing personal qualities which have contributed to her success, but perhaps the greatest is her commitment to people. Her touchstone when making decisions is doing the right thing by people – looking after and developing her staff, providing for the needs of our customers, and helping our advisers succeed because their success is our success. Each of us has benefited from Naomi's experience and intelligence, and each of us have better career or business opportunities for having worked with her.
The Partners Life team are proud to say we work with Naomi Ballantyne, and we are very happy that she has received this award in recognition of her life-time of commitment to our terrific industry.
At Partners Life we believe in family values and that parenting really does matter, so in accordance with this we are pleased to announce that we have now become sponsors of another family orientated organisation 'The Parenting Place'.
We are giving our support to their popular Fathers' Breakfast meetings held in three venues:
Tuesday 11th August, SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland
Tuesday 1st September, Shed 6 , Queens Wharf, Wellington
Monday 7th September, Air Force Museum, Christchurch
About The Parenting Place
The Parenting Place organisation passionately believe that Family is Everything. They help families through a wide range of programmes - Toolbox parenting groups, Hot Tips for communities, Hot Tips for businesses, Fathers’ Breakfast, The Parenting Show with Pio, Pasifika Families, Parenting magazine, Family Coaches, their centre in Auckland, Attitude programmes for schools, and the National Young Leaders Days. The Parenting Place is there for families - parents, grandparents, carers, and children - whatever stage they are at in their journey. Their mission statement is simple: an organisation that seeks to serve parents and children, and it does so with flair, humour and quality.
About Fathers' Breakfasts
Fathers' Breakfasts are held annually in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Six top speakers talk from their heart and share personal stories from their journey as a father – all to provide inspiration to help you with your role as a dad. Plus enjoy a fully cooked breakfast at the same time!
In previous years, speakers such as Sir Stephen Tindall, Sir Ralph Norris, Sir Ray Avery, Sean Fitzpatrick, Wayne 'Buck' Shelford, Graham Henry, Robbie Deans, Nick Farr-Jones, Neil Finn and John Campbell have spoken at Fathers' Breakfasts. All of them are quick to admit their failings, but they are also keen to pass on what they've found that works.
Fathers can make a huge, positive difference. Fathers want to be active and involved in their kids' lives – this event will give you some simple tips and inspiration to take home and apply. The practical nature of the speakers' advice, combined with the atmosphere generated by hundreds of fathers in a room, makes it a powerful event. If you wish to book your space whilst seats last then please click below.
"Partners Life maintains overall satisfaction to be the best in the market" - receiving 5 Stars in the Beaton Survey for 2015
Thanks to you, for the fifth year, Partners Life has again received a 5 star rating from the annual Beaton Survey of Independent Advisers.
Partners Life was again the only company to receive a 5 star rating in this years (2015) survey and scored an overall satisfaction rating of 86% up from last year's rating of 85% (industry average 72%).
We are delighted with the results and are very proud of everyone who has contributed to our success to date.
Following on from our success at the 2013 Awards, Partners Life is proud to announce that we will be
the sponsor of the Excellence in Business Leadership Award at the Westpac Auckland North Business Awards 2014.
These awards recognise resilience, innovation, and the essential principals of business success.
They offer businesses the chance to:
- showcase their product to the wider community
- have the opportunity to be seen as an outstanding business in Auckland
- celebrate with staff and acknowledge their contributions to business
For more details about the awards and to download an entry form,
please go to www.aucklandbusinessawards.co.nz
Following on from our success at the 2012 Westpac North Business Awards we are delighted to announce that Partners Life has been even more successful at the 2013 Awards which were announced last night.
This year we have been awarded the Babcock Excellence in Leadership Award and the Best Medium to Large Business of the Year Award to go along with last year's Excellence in Strategy and Planning and Best Emerging Business Awards.
But the most exciting news from last night was that Partners Life was also awarded the Westpac Supreme Business of the Year Award for 2013.
It is extremely satisfying to have received this accolade this year when we are still not quite two and a half years old. Our wonderful people are bursting with pride about their company and I am extremely proud of each of them.
We would like to thank you for supporting us - we know that we wouldn't be where we are today without you.
As we advised previously, Partners successfully completed an institutional capital raising in July where we raised $11.9m which was well in excess of our targeted minimum of $10m.
We are now pleased to provide an update to this institutional capital raising process.
Waterman Capital commenced due diligence on Partners while we were in the process of this capital raising but due to time constraints, were unable to finalise their research by the time we closed the investment window.
We continued to provide Waterman with the information they needed to complete their due diligence and we are very pleased to announce that the outcome of this very thorough due diligence process is an investment of $6.25m into Partners equating to an initial 5% stake.
Waterman Capital is a New Zealand owned and operated private investment firm with excess of $125m under management. It focuses on investing in, and adding value to mid-market businesses in New Zealand. Waterman Capital was the first manager appointed by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and also includes the Accident Compensation Corporation amongst its cornerstone investors.
With another respected institutional investor joining Maui Capital and Rangatira Limited as cornerstone shareholders, we see this as acknowledgement of the significant success achieved by the business to date as well as a reflection of the success we expect to achieve into the future.
An added bonus of the Waterman investment is the addition of Lance Jenkins, Executive Director at Waterman, onto the Partners Board of Directors where he will further enhance what we consider to be our world-class governance team.
Lance comments: "This is a tremendous New Zealand growth story and one that we are privileged and excited to be part of. At Waterman, we are all looking forward to working with Naomi and her team to help Partners achieve its strategic goals".