Southern Cross enjoys fifth straight year of membership growth

Outgoing chairman leads final annual meeting before retirement

Southern Cross enjoys fifth straight year of membership growth

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Southern Cross Health Society is in a strong financial position and poised for further growth, outgoing chairman Greg Gent announced at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Auckland on Dec. 7.

The not-for-profit health society enjoyed its fifth consecutive year of membership growth, with over 8,500 net new members. At the end of the latest financial year, membership totalled 887,782 – the highest in 13 years.

“Despite the backdrop of the pandemic, and the uncertainty that New Zealanders have been living and working with, I’m pleased the society has managed operations and finances well to deliver a strong result this past financial year and withstand and meet head on the continued challenges presented by COVID-19,” Gent said.

For the past year, Southern Cross registered a surplus of $53 million. Of this, $10 million is an operating surplus, and $39 million is from investment income. The firm said that while this year’s investment income was a very strong result, it’s not something that is expected every single year, given the nature of investments.  

Speaking at the meeting, Southern Cross Health Society CEO Nick Astwick said that, despite some turbulent and uncertain circumstances during the last financial year, the society was fortunate to come through it in a positive position.

Gent is retiring after having spent the past six years as chairman and three years before that as director. Succeeding him is Murray Jordan, who has been part of the board as director for two years. Jordan was also appointed trustee at the AGM, while Gent remains chairman of the Southern Cross Health Trust Board.

“On behalf of us all at Southern Cross, I would like to express our sincere thanks to Greg for his outstanding leadership of our board, and my personal appreciation for his guidance and wisdom while I’ve had the privilege of working with him,” Astwick said.

Other resolutions voted on by members at the AGM included Roger France’s re-election as director and re-appointment as trustee. Chris Black and David Bridgman were also appointed as directors to fill the vacancies created by the retirements of Gent and Keith Taylor.

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