One of Australia’s largest banks, NAB, yesterday announced it has entered into an agreement to sell BNZ Life, its New Zealand life insurance business, to leading New Zealand life insurance provider Partners Life for NZ$290m ($205m).
The agreement to sell is consistent with NAB’s strategy to focus on its core banking businesses across Australia and New Zealand, the bank says in a statement.

BNZ CEO Angela Mentis said, “Ensuring BNZ customers continue to access insurance remains important to us. We’re confident that this sale will provide the best outcome for our insurance customers and that they will continue to receive a high standard of customer service from a New Zealand insurance provider with a strong local reputation.”

As part of the sale, BNZ will also enter into an exclusive 10-year agreement for the referral of BNZ’s customers with life insurance needs to Partners Life, subject to Partners Life continuing to meet agreed operating standards.

The sale is subject to regulatory and other approvals with completion expected to occur in late 2021. The proposed transaction is subject to approval by the Overseas Investment Office and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

BNZ and Partners Life have had a close business partnership over several years. The sale of BNZ Life to Partners Life is a natural progression of this strong partnership.

Partners Life says in a statement that the substantial scale of the combined businesses will significantly enhance the efficiency of Partners Life and provide the base from which further innovations can be launched, increasing the value provided to customers.

Partners Life, established by Ms Naomi Ballantyne as a small start-up in 2011, is now the second largest insurance company in New Zealand. New York-headquartered and listed Blackstone took a minority shareholding in Partners Life in 2016. Partners Life currently insures more than 177,000 lives, has NZ$343.3m in annual premiums in force and employs 270 staff.

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