Partners Life : Everything you need to know

Headquarters address: 33-45 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand
Year established: 2011
Size (employees): 300+
Premium revenue: $325.88 million (2021)
Underwriting expertise: Life, income protection, medical, disability, trauma, and business risk protection insurance
Key people: Naomi Ballantyne (managing director), Peter Lassen (chief technical officer), Tony Arthur (chief commercial officer), Brad Lang (chief strategy officer), Anton Gardiner (chief of product and pricing), Trish Meakin (chief people officer), Tracey Lonergan (chief claims officer), Andries van Graan (chief of adviser distribution), Daniel Walker (chief of operations), Beckie McCleland (chief risk officer), Kris Ballantyne (chief marketing officer), Kate Dron (chief and appointed actuary), Jaco Grobbelaar (chief of finance and deputy chief financial officer)


About Partners Life
Partners Life is a New Zealand-operated company which began as a small start-up in 2011, and has since grown into a recognised industry leader in the country’s life and health insurance space. It is named Partners Life because of the importance it places on a strong partnership between the company, its customers, and its independent financial advisers.

Partners Life focuses on protecting New Zealand businesses and families against the unexpected, recognising that this is often a very stressful time for the claimants and families. It works closely with insurance brokers to ensure customers have access to personalised insurance products.

Partners Life offers a range of products including life insurance, income protection, medical insurance, disability insurance, trauma cover, and business risk protection. The company recognises that a ‘one size fits all’ solution is not the best answer to protecting against complex and personal risks, and has thus developed a wide range of products designed to be mixed and matched to deliver strong, personalised protection.

Partners Life strongly recommends that its customers go through an independent financial adviser to advise on the insurance solution best for them, and does not rely on online quotations or direct sales.

Partners Life’s shareholder base includes a number of New Zealand and overseas institutions, management and staff. The company secured a $200 million investment from the Tactical Opportunities Fund in September 2016. Its current financial strength rating is A- (Excellent), as rated by A.M. Best.


Partners Life Leadership

Naomi Ballantyne – Managing director
Ballantyne founded Partners Life as a start-up in 2010, making it the third insurance company at which she is listed as a founder. Her first life insurance role was with Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance, and Ballantyne says she was ‘hooked very early’ by the career development and the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. She moved on to build up Sovereign before it was sold to ASB, and also founded Club Life, now OnePath Life – a company recently acquired by Cigna from ANZ. Her accolades include the New Zealand Industry Award for Life Insurance Company of the Year, and the ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tony Arthur – Chief commercial officer
Arthur was appointed chief commercial officer at Partners Life in 2017. He joined after a successful 10-year career at the Bank of New Zealand where he headed up its business development and marketing team, his previous roles included head of agribusiness and national sales director – retail and marketing.

Beckie McCleland – Chief risk officer
McCleland serves as Partners Life’s chief risk officer. She boasts more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in New Zealand and UK, where she had held a range of risk and compliance, governance and client-facing roles. Prior to her stint at the company, McCleland was director of advisory at KPMG New Zealand. She also served as head of financial advice delivery and service at Milford Asset Management. McCleland is an authorised financial adviser (AFA) and attained the CII Diploma in Financial Planning in the UK. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.


Culture at Partners Life
Partners Life supports a number of charitable health organisations; it is the principal supporter of Cure Kids, which funds medical research to help treat children with serious illnesses, and is also a key sponsor of Body Worlds Vital – an educational event helping New Zealanders learn about the effects of daily life on their bodies.

Partners Life was awarded the Rainbow Tick certification in December 2018, a confidence mark given to organisations which have a high level of diversity and inclusivity concerning their LGBT+ staff.

In 2020, the company has sponsored the Partners Life Emerging Award for the second year in a row. The award recognises organisations that are in the early stage of their diversity and inclusion journey but have taken steps to clearly signal their commitment to rainbow inclusion in one or more facets of their organisation.

Partners Life : In the news