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nib signs up Benji Marshall for new campaign

Tower Health adds to the bottom line of its new owner, and plans a direct to consumer marketing campaign using rugby convert Benji Marshall.

Tuesday, August 27th 2013, 10:20AM 6 Comments

Listed Australian health insurer nib says the Tower Health business it boughtlast year added $8 million (A$6.4 million) to the group’s pre-tax net underwriting profitfor the year to June 30.

The New Zealand profit reflected seven months of operation since nib completed the acquisition of TOWER’s health arm in November.

“As forecast, the acquisition was EPS accretive in FY13, with nib New Zealand contributing about 9% of group operating profit,” nib said in an announcement to the Stock Exchange.

“This is a very pleasing result and confirms that New Zealand will become an increasingly important part of nib’s earnings base,” nib New Zealadn chief executive Rob Hennin says.

Hennin says the acquisition and integration of the business into nib has gone smoothly and the company is now planning “a very heavy investment in brand and marketing” for later in the year.

He says it will include a direct-to-consumer product offering.

“To support this we have appointed Benji Marshall as the brand ambassador to front nib New Zealand’s marketing and advertising campaign,” he added.

“We think Benji is a great fit for our company and our brand. And with him returning to New Zealand to play rugby with the Auckland Blues next season, we saw this as a great opportunity,” Hennin said.

nib managing director Mark Fitzgibbon says there are plenty of opportunities for the company in New Zealand.

“With just over 30% of New Zealanders having health and medical insurance, compared to almost 50% in Australia, we see a great opportunity to grow industry participation and snare our lion’s share of this increase,” Fitzgibbon said.

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Comments from our readers

On 30 August 2013 at 5:32 pm Lindsay said:
Isn't this the way.
We have Stacy Jones selling loans in a flash, so then we have Michael Jones selling Cigna's overpriced cover and now we have an All Black fronting Health Insurance - Do me a favour - they have to take their boots off to count to 11

EDITOR'S NOTE - Benji ain't an All Black yet and hasn't even played a Union match. He has captained the League team though.
On 30 August 2013 at 9:10 pm Observer said:
@Lindsay - Really. It is a shame that such ridiculous comments get published. I appreciate there is freedom of speech but these are all people who have reached the pinnacle of their sporting career and represented their country with pride. What have you achieved?
On 31 August 2013 at 8:44 am Rob Hennin said:
Thanks for the feedback Linsday. We chose Benji as our ambassador because of a really strong fit with the nib brand. We intend to help kiwis afford healthcare when and where needed with world class products and service.
When you see nib and Benjj in action together later in the year I hope you'll see that we will be quite different from the rest of the pack.
Rob Hennin:CEO nib New Zealand
On 2 September 2013 at 9:56 am Waitingforchange said:
Cannot wait for NIB to launch, its going to give the New Zealand health insurance market some vitality and competition. Benji will be a great brand ambassador, good choice.
On 2 September 2013 at 12:38 pm Lindsay said:
I really hope both Rob and Waiting are right. I would have more idea about the health market than 95% of Brokers. The market is driven by the health professionals and as at today, the insurance industry is driven by the demand that those professionals create. It is like the motor insurance industry being driven by the panel beaters
What I say is a fact, and the illusion created is the care quality, which is a myth.
The problem today is that because the insurance industry simply followed along, the public have a price problem
When I first became involved in health insurance 50% of the public had health insurance, most paid for by themselves. Take the group market away and we are nearer 25%
The health insurance market have been foolish to try to run a private system in parallel with the public system, rather than comlementary. Dumb
And of course the smaller players have spent their whole time trying to knock Southern Cross. Also dumb
Yes Rob I sincerely hope you are right
On 3 September 2013 at 11:16 am traveller said:
I've never understood why companies employ ageing footballers to promote their products. It would never influence me but no doubt there is a worthwhile pool of potential customers who do get sucked in.

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