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Recognising an outstanding career

Last week, Graeme Lindsay announced his retirement from a career spanning 54 years as a life and health insurance clerk, agent, broker, and advocate – and what an outstanding career it has been.

Tuesday, April 6th 2021, 2:56PM

by Brian Klee

Whether it has been caring for clients or advocating for the life insurance profession, his knowledge, skill and influence have benefited many.

Starting as a life insurance clerk with MLC in 1967, after two years he was attracted to a career as an agent. Two years later he changed allegiance to National Mutual and within two years was among their top 20 producers.

Graeme’s mind is a sponge, soaking up industry knowledge and always looking for new ideas.

He joined the Life Underwriters Association (LUA) in his first year as an adviser and agreed to be the Auckland Branch Secretary in 1972. Within 12 months he was elected chairman of this large branch – his passion for the association’s cause never faltered.

It was this same year he first qualified for MDRT and eventually became a Qualifying and Life Member for 34 years. He attended dozens of their meetings to satisfy his massive thirst for knowledge, bringing material and ideas back to New Zealand and sharing them with enthusiasm.

Graeme recognised early on that education was the means to higher production and earnings. In 1994, he was quick to recognise the need for product research for financial advisers, so the strategy research and analysis system was launched.

Along with Russell Hutchinson’s Quotemonster, these two industry trailblazers have provided product comparison material on a vast range of both new and old life insurance contracts available.

A few of Graeme’s achievements:
- Winner of the Al Pitts Award 1975 – highest aggregate marks for the NZ Diploma of Life Insurance.
- 1977 LUANZ Board of Directors – leading branch development, conventions, and later education and communications.
- Elected LUANZ junior vice president (at age 29) in 1978 – the youngest VP to date.
- Served two years as LUANZ national president from 1981 - 1983.
- Appointed chairman of registration, resulting in the Registered Life Insurance Agents Authority being founded on August 1, 1984, with 1314 members.
- Introduced Wayne Cotton’s revolutionary client-acquisition systems into New Zealand.
- In 1987 was awarded the Denis Sampson Award for outstanding service to the Institution of Life Insurance.
- Former president of the Estate and Taxation Planning Council.
- A prolific industry contributor of sales and technical material.

MDRT highlights:
- 34 years membership commencing in 1974.
- Speaker in 1979, 1986, 1990 and again in 2007.
- MDRT Membership Communications Committee zone chairperson for New Zealand in 1996.
- Served on numerous committees, including Finance, Annual Meeting Programme Development, Programme General Arrangements and the Family Time Standing committee.
- In 1998 he became the first Australasian member to be appointed to MDRT’s management council.

As recorded back in 1987, “His adherence to the ethical philosophy of LUA, and his wide knowledge of life assurance its application to peoples’ lives, are an inspiration to all.”

I know he will continue to enjoy his other passions, namely Porsches, woodwork, photography, playing golf badly, good wine, food, and of course more time with Heather, the children and grandchildren.

Wishing you a well-earned and happy retirement Graeme.

Tags: Brian Klee Life insurance retirement

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