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Ballantyne honoured for her work

Partners Life founder and managing director Naomi Ballantyne says it is "surreal" to be made a Officer of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM) in the New Year's Honours list, but something she is very proud to have received.

Thursday, January 5th 2017, 6:03AM 2 Comments

Naomi Ballantyne, OMNZ

Ballantyne was described in the award's citation as being an "insurance entrepreneur", and one of the main drivers of the industry's product innovation over the past 34 years.

"[She] has created careers for hundreds of New Zealanders, business opportunities for thousands of small-medium enterprises, hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder value, and financially supported many thousands of New Zealand clients when health issues interrupted their lives."

Over the years she has been involved in the establishment of the three companies, Sovereign, OnePath Life (originally called Club Life) and Partners Life. Besides developing the companies she has also been responsible for much of the product innovation in the life insurance industry.

Ballantyne told Good Returns she was surprised "that anyone would notice me." Also she said it was surreal to be honoured as she has spent much of her professional life "fighting the establishment".

She initially found the industry - and its old boys club - to be frustrating, with discussions centred on what competitors were doing rather than what was right for the customer.

Ballantyne says the award is also recognition for the industry and the people she has worked with.

"It's not just a recognition for me, but for the whole industry."

While there is plenty of flak thrown at life insurance companies and risk advisers, people need to realise how much companies pay out in claims each year and how important advisers are in making sure New Zealanders have appropriate life insurance cover.

One regret is her mother unexpectedly passed away just before Christmas and will miss out on seeing her daughter receiving the honour.

Ballantyne joined the industry when she was 18, dropping out of a marine biology degree to take up a management course.

Tags: Naomi Ballantyne Partners Life

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Comments from our readers

On 13 January 2017 at 3:19 pm Keith Walter said:
Very well deserved Naomi
On 31 January 2017 at 3:55 pm Jos Bassett-Smith said:
Well done Naomi!! Your ethics and IMMENSE contribution to the insurance industry is known by so many and now publicly recognised. Mike and Jos Bassett-Smith

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