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Partners snares BNZ Life

Partners Life has achieved its biggest milestone since the business started nine years ago - the acquisition of BNZ Life.

Thursday, December 17th 2020, 6:30AM 2 Comments

The $290 million deal has been described by Partners Life founder and managing director Naomi Ballantyne as "the biggest thing we have done since we started the company\."

BNZ Life is around a third of the size of Partners and has around 102,000 policy holders, and annual premium income of around $100 million.

One hundred and sixteen staff will come across from BNZ to join the 280 people already at Partners.

Under the deal BNZ totally exits the manufacturing and distribution of life insurance products.

BNZ chief executive Angela Mentis says the sale is consistent with NAB’s strategy to focus on its core banking businesses across Australia and New Zealand.

Partners will have a 10-year  arrangement with BNZ which is different to the traditional bancassurance model. BNZ staff will take customers through a fact find and if that shows the need for protection then the customer will be referred to Partners Life.

“Ensuring BNZ customers continue to access insurance remains important to us. We’re confident that this sale will provide the best outcome for our insurance customers and that they will continue to receive a high standard of customer service from a New Zealand insurance provider with a strong local reputation.”

Ballantyne says the arrangement is "a huge endorsement of use by the bank."

As part of the sale, BNZ will also enter into an exclusive 10-year agreement for the referral of BNZ’s customers with life insurance needs to Partners Life, 

Partners Life has continuously invested in systems, technologies and brand since its inception to build a “template” for how life insurance products should be developed and delivered to New Zealand consumers. The substantial scale of the combined businesses will significantly enhance the efficiency of Partners Life and provide the base from which further innovations can be launched, increasing the value provided to customers.

Ballantyne says the deal will give Partners scale and improve efficiencies. She says it will make the business cash flow positive sooner than expected which will also bring forward any potential listing on the sharemarket.

Added to that there are benefits for advisers, BNZ Life has traditionally sold low-value, simple products to younger customers.

Once they come onto Partners' system and become clients there is an opportunity to add benefits and upgrade cover to more appropriate levels.

"Existing BNZ Life customers will benefit by having their covers upgraded to incorporate the market leading Partners Life claims philosophies, automatic product upgrade provision,
customer loyalty benefits and enhancements to their product features and benefits," she says.

"They will also have the flexibility to add additional covers from the Partners Life comprehensive range of market leading product solutions, where they have a need."

The sale is subject to regulatory and other approvals with completion expected to occur in late 2021.



Tags: BNZ Naomi Ballantyne Partners Life

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Comments from our readers

On 17 December 2020 at 9:48 am Matron said:
Kinda reminds me of when startup company Sovereign purchased MetLife to bolster their premium revenue.

It's exactly the same playbook out of necessity.
On 18 December 2020 at 11:40 am BayBroker said:
Looks like a quality acquisition by Naomi and the team. Growth by acquisition has been a winning strategy for many businesses and there's no reason to think this wouldn't also be a winning strategy, especially given the 10 year deal signed with the BNZ.I wonder how this will be handled by PLL?

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