Weekly Wrap: New faces for ICNZ

by Maryvonne Gray 20 May 2016

Weekly Wrap: New faces for ICNZ

New faces for ICNZ
The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has revealed its latest board line-up as well as its newest members to sign up, Hollard Insurance and Tokio Marine.

Continuing as president and deputy president are FMG CEO Chris Black and MAS CEO Martin Stokes, while the rest of the board is made up of:

Andrew Brooks – country president New Zealand – ACE
Chris Curtin – CEO – AA Insurance
Bill Donovan – general manager New Zealand operations – QBE
Kai Dwyer – general manager – Zurich New Zealand
Eugene Elisara – CEO Allianz New Zealand
Martin Kreft – regional manager New Zealand – Munich Re
Craig Olsen – CEO – IAG New Zealand
Paul Smeaton – CEO - Vero

ICNZ has also scored a major coup for its conference this year, securing Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale as its keynote speaker.

The conference date is confirmed as Monday 7 November 2016 at Auckland's Sky City. More details about the theme and what Beale will talk about to be released soon.


YIPs hits 100 milestone
Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs) has hit a significant milestone – their 100th event held in Auckland this month.

It was also a first for the Auckland YIPs committee, hosting their first leaders panel aimed at giving younger industry members the chance to get up close and personal with senior insurance personalities.

Chubb’s Duncan Boyd was MC with panellists including Aon New Zealand CEO Geoff Blampied, Kennedys partner Kim Burkhart, NZI GM Corporate & Facilities Michael Carswell, Crawford and Co NZ CEO Dean Garrod and NZI regional sales manager marine Henry Wallace, who is also a YIPs committee member.

YIPS NZ communications officer Charlotte Robertson, who has now been elected to the YIPs Australasian committee, said feedback received on the event had so far been ‘outstanding’.

“The panel’s conversation flowed between topics, with Duncan Boyd taking the panellists through questions about the current market in New Zealand, the future of the industry, technology in insurance and the importance of YIPs in insurance,” she said.

“Following the formal panel discussion, the floor was opened to all giving the attendees an opportunity to ask the leaders questions.”

“The feedback received so far has been outstanding. Each of the 50 attendees benefited in one way or another from the panel and we are vetting a number of enquiries for when another panel will be held.

“Not only was it a great evening, but it was also YIPs’ 100th event. Here’s to 100 more!”
 
IAG opens subordinated notes offer
IAG has opened its offer of unsecured subordinated convertible notes, as indicated to the market earlier this month.

Following strong investor demand for the offer, the issue size has been increased to NZ$350 million including oversubscriptions of NZ$100 million.

Each note will have a face value and issue price of NZ$1.00.

The notes have a final maturity of 15 June 2043, however they may be repaid earlier by IAG on scheduled optional redemption dates, or if there is a change in the tax or regulatory treatment of the notes.

The offer opened yesterday (19 May) and closes on Friday 10 June 2016.
 
Suncorp rating affirmed
International ratings agency Fitch has affirmed Suncorp Group Limited’s (SGL) Long- and Short-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘A+’ and ‘FI’ respectively.

Fitch has also affirmed SGL’s main non-life insurance subsidiary AAI Limited’s (AAI) ‘A+’ IDR; ‘AA-‘ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating, and ‘A’ subordinated debt. 

The Outlooks are Stable.

According to a statement released by Fitch, the ratings affirmation reflects SGL’s and AAI’s strong brands and franchise, solid operating performances, comprehensive reinsurance programme, robust capital ratios, moderate financial leverage, conservation investment approach and historically sound non-life reserving.

SGL’s subsidiary Suncorp-Metway Limited’s (SML, A+/Stable), has offset these strengths to some extent, with its large banking exposure and weaker standalone profile (viability rating, ‘a-‘). SML’s improved risk profile and operating performances are credit positive, however, according to Fitch.

Fitch also noted that SGL’s simplification and optimisation programs has supported stronger group performance over 18 months to the financial half-year ended 2015 (1H16) compared to the previous three years.

And despite 1H16 earnings falling below group expectations, due to claims inflation and higher natural hazard losses in the non-life division, the life division continued to experience positive claims and lapse experience and bank earnings continued to improve.

Also according to the Fitch release, SGL’s insurance risk is well-mitigated through solid reinsurance; its capitalisation assessed to be “extremely strong;” and its insurance divisions’ investment portfolios to be conservatively positioned.

Fitch has predicted that SGL’s IDR will move with AAI’s IDR and IFS rating. The ratings agency identified stronger standalone profile for SML, an extended period of robust operating performance across all businesses, and strong and sustained capital ratios at a group level as requirements for the insurer’s positive rating action. It also noted that profitability in non-life insurance operations is key to the Group’s ratings.