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Life after Jennings 'business as usual'

Fidelity Life’s acting chief executive, Ed Eadie says advisers should not expect any major change after the departure of industry stalwart Milton Jennings.

Tuesday, April 5th 2016, 3:00PM

by Susan Edmunds

Ed Eadie

Jennings finished in the role last week after almost three decades with the company.

Acting chief executive, and the company’s chief financial officer, Ed Eadie, said the move had been well signalled and there had been a significant period of handover before Jennings finally signed off.

“He’s also go the board advisory role for the next 12 months, so it’s not as though he’s disappearing into the ether never to be seen or heard of again.”

Eadie said while he was in the role in an “acting” capacity, he was being given the freedom to tackle it as he saw fit. 

“They are very much letting me have a tilt at the job and giving me every opportunity to do the things I think we should do.”

He said it would be an interesting time to be at the helm, given the review of the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) currently under way and the Financial Markets Authority investigation into churn.

“The worry is that legislation can come from people who don’t fully understand the industry and how every aspect works. Fidelity Life remains committed to advisers and the supply of advice for New Zealanders. I’m working hard in this space at this time. What comes from it we will have to wait and see.”

He said it seemed likely that tougher conduct rules were imminent for advisers in the FAA review.

Eadie has been with Fidelity Life for five years and said he had absorbed some of Jennings’ leadership traits, including accessibility and openness.  “I hope while I’m in the acting role advisers don’t perceive any change.”

The Fidelity Life board is carrying out a search for Jennings’ replacement.

Eadie said while he would welcome a chance to take on the role more permanently, he was supportive of the process the board was going through. "I’ve been with Fidelity for five years and I hope to be here for a fair few years to come.”

Fidelity ran a farewell roadshow around the country, where Jennings was able to say goodbye to advisers. It culminated with a gala dinner held on Saturday at Eden Park

Tags: Fidelity Life

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