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[Obituary] Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett who was recently appointed to the Fidelity Life board has died.

Wednesday, June 25th 2014, 6:00AM 1 Comment

Garrett was well-known in the life insurance sector from his time as chief executive of NZI Life in New Zealand, as well as more recently in his role as Head of Life Operations with Munich Reinsurance Group, based in Australia.

He was a director of, and chairs the risk committee of, TAL Life Australia, formerly TOWER Life Australia, and is a non-executive director with the New Zealand Police Welfare Fund. He has also consulted to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Garrett passed away over the weekend while holidaying with his family in Taupo. He had a brain haemorrhage and died soon afterwards.

Fidelity Life chief executive Milton Jennings says although Garrett had only recently appointed to the board, “Roger had already provided invaluable input into our strategic review process, drawing on his actuarial experience and knowledge of the life insurance industry.”

“Our deepest condolences go out to Roger’s wife and family.”

Insurance consultant David Whyte says: "Many will remember Roger from his days in charge of NZI Life, while others will have cause to be thankful for Roger’s pivotal role in the latter part of his career with Munich Re."

"I was fortunate enough to be a client of Roger in his reinsurance role on both sides of the Tasman, and apart from the thoroughly professional approach to all work-related matters, I remember his wicked sense of humour more than anything.

"On occasions such as the Waitangi Day celebrations in Macquarie Street, to the pre-test match hospitality at Balmacewan Golf Club, Roger had a mischievous desire for everyone to enjoy themselves in his company.

"I can’t recall when he missed his target in this regard.

"As a host in company, he was generous; as a lunch or dinner companion he was erudite and entertaining – with some hilarious tales to recount of the paradoxes of our financial services industry and/or those of us who inhabit same.

"Nobody who deserved it was spared a withering phrase or pithy observation – but he was never malevolent or inappropriate with such observations and believed in playing the ball, not the man – unless, of course, the man needed to be played!

"But that was Roger. He believed in keeping your word based on the now long-forgotten insurance maxim – uberrima fides - utmost good faith, and never took a backward step once committed to a course of action.

"His experience and wisdom will be sorely missed by many, and his unique observations on the human condition which as often as not developed into a hugely amusing diatribe will be sadly missed by those fortunate enough to know the man in this context.
"The industry in NZ and Australia has lost a great character, an oracle of knowledge, a valued colleague, and a staunch friend.

"Farewell, Roger, rest in peace."

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Comments from our readers

On 25 June 2014 at 9:03 am Bernard McCrea said:
Very sad to hear the news of Roger passing away. He was one of NZ's best business and sports ambassadors based in Australia. Always cheering for the Kiwi's on any opportunity. He was a big contribution to the NZ and Aust life industry and will be missed by many. Sympathies to his wife, children and grandchildren.
Bernard McCrea

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