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Compass Life heads in a new direction after buy-out

Kiwi-owned and operated insurance advisers Compass Life have been bought out by LifeDirect and together hope to become a much larger player in the New Zealand insurance scene.

Friday, April 16th 2021, 6:00AM

by Matthew Martin

Former Compass Life managing director Tony McCombs.

LifeDirect managing director Mark Solomon says the acquisition of Compass Direct is the company's first major step toward building a larger organisation that covers a wider range of insurance offerings, including fire and general insurance and home loans.

Former Compass Life managing director Tony McCombs says after his business partner had a serious accident about 11 months ago they had to completely re-think the direction of the business and had been looking for a suitable partner.

McCombs told Good Returns he has taken on a role as an insurance adviser at LifeDirect to support his clients during the acquisition process and into the future.

"In this new regulatory environment, there's a real need to have a strong team within any adviser business to ensure not only compliance but also that your clients are being well looked after.

"Being a man down made it difficult for the business to do what we needed to do so we looked at options working with a number of different suitors."

McCombs says he has known and respected Solomon (pictured below) for a long time and was impressed by how LifeDirect did its business.

"We were very impressed with their tools, their capability, their servicing proposition and the team they have available to look after our clients...their people and processes are literally second to none.

"Top of mind for us was the fact that our clients' needs would continue to be well looked after," McCombs says.

McCombs and Solomon say they are still working through the details of what the new company will look like but at the moment they are concentrating on moving Compass Life's thousands of clients into the LifeDirect system.

Both say it is an opportunity for future growth and together they can only get stronger.

Currently, LifeDirect offers health, life, income and mortgage protection insurance but Solomon says the management team are looking at moving into fire and general insurance as well as home loans.

"We saw Compass as an excellent brand...this is the first time we have gone into an acquisition of a client base so it's a toe in the water for us as well.

"In terms of where we are heading... it's a step in the right direction and a nice fit for us," Solomon says.

"There's no reason why we can't get distribution going throughout New Zealand and we'd really like to try. We can certainly service this client base, we have no capacity issues with either brand."

Tags: Compass Life LifeDirect Mark Solomon Tony McCombs

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