Cigna New Zealand: Everything you need to know
In operation: 100+ years
Types of services: Life & health insurance
Cigna New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s largest providers of life, funeral, income protection, trauma and accidental death insurance. It is part of the American worldwide health services organisation Cigna, which is based in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Its parent is a Fortune 500 company, and one of the world’s largest publicly owned insurance and financial services companies.
Cigna New Zealand currently has over 450,000 clients, and offers Cigna-branded products through a mix of direct marketing and insurance advisers. The company significantly increased in scale from 2018 to 2019, when it acquired OnePath Life from ANZ – a transaction which saw Cigna become New Zealand’s third largest life insurer.
Cigna is a member of the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) Scheme, an independent service for resolving insurance-related disputes.
Cigna New Zealand in the news
1982: Cigna Corporation is formed through the merger of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and INA Corporation.
2017: Cigna New Zealand has its financial strength rating upgraded from A- to A by A.M. Best as a result of a “strong balance sheet and long-term sustainability.”
2018: Cigna announces its intention to acquire OnePath Life for $700 million from ANZ in May, and the deal is granted regulatory approval in November.
2018: Cigna partners with UK technology UnderwriteMe, and launches its Underwriting Rules Engine (URE) in New Zealand.
2018: Cigna New Zealand appoints Gail Costa as its new CEO.
2019: Cigna opens an office in Christchurch, the company’s first bricks-and-mortar presence on the South Island.
2019: Cigna rolls out a number of changes to its OnePath Life product range, introducing various improvements in cover.
2020: Cigna completes the integration of OnePath into its business, uniting the two companies under the Cigna brand.
Key people (as of 2020)
CEO – Gail Costa
Costa was appointed the CEO of Cigna New Zealand in March 2018, having previously led Cigna’s operations in the country for 10 years. She had served on the New Zealand Board since 2012, and returned to the country after a series of assignments across Asia and Turkey, where she held the role of chief executive of Cigna’s Joint Venture business with QBN Finansbank. Before she joined Cigna, Costa spent four years as general manager at Royal & Sun Alliance.
Chief Operating Officer – Debbie Eyre
Eyre joined Cigna in December 2018 from ANZ, where she was the general manager of wealth operations for almost five years. Her previous experience included four years as general manager and head of operations with Tower Insurance, where she oversaw 120+ staff across various areas of the business.
Chief Financial Officer – Mark Schollum
Schollum joined Cigna in 2013, having previously spent time at various firms including PwC, JPMorgan Chase and Monitor. He started his Cigna career as a corporate accountant before progressing to head of finance in 2017, and he was appointed CFO in July 2019. He is a graduate of the University of Otago, and is a chartered accountant recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Cigna New Zealand has participated in various local charitable initiatives over the years. It runs the Cigna Actuarial Scholarship on an annual basis, which aims to encourage students to consider the actuarial profession as a career path and awards $5,000 towards the winner’s education fees.
The company also recognises some of the most outstanding achievements of disabled people in its Cigna Disabled Person of the Year Award, and recently launched a campaign supporting the mental health of young children in New Zealand in partnership with Life Education.