Partners Life's ratings unchanged following BNZ Life acquisition

Ratings agency to make another evaluation once another pending transaction is completed

Partners Life's ratings unchanged following BNZ Life acquisition

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Insurance ratings agency AM Best has said that its ratings of Partners Life remain unchanged following the New Zealand insurer’s acquisition of BNZ Life Insurance.

Partners Life received a Financial Strength Rating of A- (excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (excellent) from AM Best.

On Sept. 30, Partners Life completed its purchase of National Australia Bank’s New Zealand life insurance business, which includes BNZ Life. The acquisition, which was announced in December 2020, includes an exclusive 10-year agreement where Bank of New Zealand customers with life insurance needs will be referred to Partners Life.

Following the acquisition, all insurance assets and liabilities of BNZ Life have been transferred to Partners Life. Subsequently, BNZ Life has ceased to operate as an insurance company and relinquished its insurance license.

“Partners Life’s pro-forma consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is expected to remain at the strongest level post acquisition of BNZ Life,” AM Best said. “The acquisition was funded by a combination of equity and reinsurance financing. AM Best also expects the transaction to give rise to an increase in intangible assets.”

AM Best also maintained the “under review with positive implications” status currently applied to Partners Life’s credit ratings. This reflects separate pending transaction that is expected to result in Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Holdings acquiring Partners Group Holdings, Partners Life’s parent firm.

AM Best said it will continue to closely monitor the pending transaction progress and evaluate any impact on Partners Life’s rating fundamentals. It will then issue an update following the conclusion of the transaction.

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