NZ Can Lead World in Life Insurance: Ballantyne


Partners Life MD, Naomi Ballantyne, has declared New Zealand can lead the world in the delivery of life insurance solutions for consumers.

Ballantyne issued this challenge during a podcast interview released last week covering her career as a disruptor and leader in life insurance for more than three decades.

“New Zealand’s life insurance industry is very good,” she said, “…we can lead the rest of the world because the rest of the world is not so necessarily good,” she said.

Partners Life Managing Director/Founder, Naomi Ballantyne

“…there’s parts of the world where there are huge profits which means customers are being really badly treated – we’ve seen some of that fallout in Australia,” she said.

Meanwhile, insurers in other parts of the world are struggling to remain profitable because they are too big or outdated and that’s where New Zealand’s fresh perspective could make a difference, she explained.

“By and large it’s an industry we should be incredibly proud of in New Zealand for the good that we do and the way in which we behave – and that’s been driven by competition – and I’ve been the competition,” Ballantyne said.

She spoke about how advisers have had a long-term experience with her, since her days at Sovereign up to now.

“…if you’ve got the right value proposition for the customer, it fixes all the conduct issues that anyone can throw at you.”

“So they know that whatever I say I do. If I make a mistake, I say sorry. We involve them in decisions and discussions and they still call me if they think that they have a problem.”

And these are calls which she takes gladly.

“These people are my customers; I am there to serve them, that’s the distinct difference – it’s not about me, it’s about them and I’m just another cog in the wheel in terms of helping them to do their job.”

She knows that advisers feel safe in her hands and the people who work for Partners Life who share the same culture.

But she said if you have the client’s back, then by default you have the adviser’s back.

“The customer comes first – if you’ve got the right value proposition for the customer, it fixes all the conduct issues that anyone can throw at you.”

Reflecting on the success of Partners Life she said one person doesn’t make it happen.

“One person can have this heart and soul but you need to imbue it, you need to recruit people around you that also, they don’t do it the same way as you but they do it from the same place as you.”

Click here to listen to the hour-long High Altitude Conversations podcast by Dr John Peebles, which also covered:

  • Ballantyne’s early years
  • 35 years in the industry and building life companies from the ground up
  • Future plans for a mentoring venture after life insurance