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Ballantyne to leave ING LIfe

Naomi Ballantyne has decided to leave ING Life and plans to look for a career outside of life insurance.

Monday, June 15th 2009, 5:26AM

The fact that she would leave in the short to medium term has been discussed recently and Ballantyne says now is the right time.

"I have often spoken of my desire to leave at the right time for both the company and for myself personally - I have always had a fear of staying too long and ending up harming the company's growth prospects through a reluctance or inability to embrace further change, Ballantyne says in a note to advisers.

"While I hope I haven't been guilty of that yet, I have to admit the enthusiasm and energy I have always felt for the job have noticeably diminished over the past couple of years."

Ballatyne established Club Life after she left her role as chief operating officer at Sovereign. Club Life has had a variety of shareholders over the years including NZX-listed company Hellaby Group and advisers having stakes in the business.

It was sold to ING in December 2003 for $15 million.

ING NZ chief executive Helen Troup, who first met Ballantyne when she was running ING Life in Australia, describes her as "an outstanding executive and an extremely valued member of the ING team."

"Her leadership, drive and passion for the business has been a key driver behind ING Life's success over the past eight years.

"In a broader context, Naomi has achieved a significant market reputation over the past 27 years particularly for innovation and for integrity and she will leave behind an enduring legacy in this regard.

While Ballantyne has been the managing director at ING Life, she has, for the past two years been running ING Insurance Services.

Ballantyne will continue in the role while ING looks for a successor. This process is expected to take around three months.

"For the time being it is business as usual for Naomi, as she remains dedicated and focused on delivering results, Troup says.

Farewell Naomi. Read the Blog here and post your thoughts and comments.

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