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Asteron Life wins top award - AIA exec honoured

Asteron Life has been named the top New Zealand life insurer for 2021 at the annual New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards with AIA's Doune Connett receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thursday, November 18th 2021, 1:38PM

by Matthew Martin

Doune Connett.

The awards, run by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, were held online this week with 13 awards handed out (see below).

AIA New Zealand says it's delighted its chief risk and compliance officer Doune Connett was awarded the prestigious ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award recognising her extensive career and significant contribution to the New Zealand insurance industry.

“On behalf of the whole team at AIA NZ we are so enormously proud of Doune and her outstanding achievement,” says AIA NZ acting chief executive Sharron Botica.

“She brings so much to our business – both as an expert in her field and as an inspiring leader for our people."

Connett has spent the past 37 years in the insurance industry and is considered one of New Zealand’s foremost actuaries and an incredible asset to the AIA NZ team, Botica says.

"Doune consistently strives to ensure the best outcomes for customers and selflessly shares her expertise by mentoring those starting out in their careers.

"We know Doune was both humbled and delighted to receive her award."

Asteron Life's Grant Willis says he's very proud Asteron has been recognised for their work over the year.

The Life Insurance Company of the Year recognises companies that have demonstrated strong performance, responded to market changes and provided outstanding service for their customers and intermediaries.

The judges commended Asteron Life’s focus on improving support for customers experiencing vulnerability and its support for advisers and employees during periods of remote working due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

"The last 18 months has been unprecedented in terms of the rate and scale of change and Asteron Life has worked hard to continue to support customers and advisers who have faced disruption and hardship due to Covid-19, including providing nearly $4 million in support through options like premium waivers," Willis says.

"We’ve also had a big focus on improving how we support customers experiencing vulnerability. I want to acknowledge and thank the team for their enthusiasm, commitment and effort – this award belongs to our people."

New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards 2021:

Large Broking Company of the Year - Insurance Advisernet New Zealand

Underwriting Agency of the Year - Delta Insurance Group

General Insurance Company of the Year - AA Insurance

Life Insurance Company of the Year - Asteron Life

Innovation of the Year - Gallagher Bassett

Professional Services Firm of the Year - McLarens

Service Provider to the Insurance Industry - CoreLogic NZ

Excellence in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion - Suncorp New Zealand

Insurance Learning Program of the Year - AA Insurance

Young Insurance Professional of the Year - Stephen Cantwell, FMG

Broking Professional of the Year - Faith Owens

Insurance Leader of the Year - Jimmy Higgins, Sid Miller, Campbell Mitchell & Blair Williams (joint winners)

ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award - Doune Connett, AIA

Tags: AIA ANZIIF awards Asteron awards Grant Willis Sharron Botica

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