Partners Life Outlines the Future for Financial Advisers


More than 500 people attended Partners Life’s 10-year anniversary event at an Auckland hotel on Friday to hear what the company has planned for the future.

Following an exciting laser light show, the firm’s Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne explained how the firm was founded on 20 core values that include product is king, effective efficiency, and growing advice. She also explained how the firm has grown from a fledgling start-up into one of the country’s major insurance companies.

Financial advisers attending the event at the Cordis Hotel heard how the company would support them “through thick and thin”, and that advisers are critical to the firm’s success.

The issue of underinsurance was touched on and advisers heard how the firm, with the help of recent acquisition BNZ Insurance, plans to address this in the coming years.

Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director, Partners Life
Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director, Partners Life is looking forward to the next 10 years.

The invited audience also heard that sales without advice no longer has a place in the delivery of products to consumers, and that technology will play an increasing part in Partners Life’s business as it starts to rely more on data-driven insights to provide information on items such as policy lapse predictions.

Moves are also afoot by the company to make underwriting and the policy application process easier and faster for advisers, thanks to a new MUM (My Underwriting Manager) app that will provide easier decision making.

On the horizon are advances in underwriting including alternatives to medical limits, the use of portable medical technology in underwriting, and rethinking the norms for underwriting problematic disclosures such as mental health.

As for claims, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Nadine Tereora says making the process faster and more transparent is a transformation project for the firm which is working with FINEOS, an international claims software engine that will see an end to the traditional claim form.

Nadine Tereora, Partners Life's Chief Operating Officer.
Nadine Tereora, Partners Life’s Chief Operating Officer is working to make claims easier to process.

She envisages a future where clients submit their claims online, or by phone, to be automatically assessed by an AI system.

The client experience is also front of mind at the firm which plans to offer an online self-service portal providing clients with information on their policies along with basic policy administration options.

Increased and more targeted customer communication are also on the agenda as the company looks to build its relationship with clients.

Other notable announcements include offering alternatives to traditional payment methods with Wepay and Apple Pay being two options. And the company plans to streamline and relaunch its branding to deliver a more cohesive look and feel for clients.

In addition, there are plans by Partners Life to support financial literacy schemes, the first of which is a partnership with financial literacy platform Banqer High.

Kris Ballantyne, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer, says: “The main purpose of the event was to bring advisers together to rekindle relationships and revive the social atmosphere of conferences our industry has really sorely been missing over the past couple of years.

“It was also to remind advisers that Partners Life is the best at what we do, and to bring some optimism and positive messages back after a year and a half of negative messages and restrictions.”

Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director Partners Life, reviews the company's first 10 years.
Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director, Partners Life, reviews the company’s first 10 years before an audience of 500 financial advisers at the Cordis Hotel, Auckland.