You’ll often hear people in insurance talk about how they fell into the industry and found reasons to stay. In the case of nib New Zealand chief executive Rob Hennin (pictured), his career choice was deliberate.
“It was a fairly conscious move,” he told Insurance Business. “I started my career in fast-moving consumer goods with companies like Unilever, and I ended up being very interested in the fact that you can really help people if you work in financial services.
“We’re helping people buy a house; we’re helping people go on holiday; we’re helping people fund their children through school and provide protection when they’re travelling abroad. I ended up working for a number of companies that some of the financial services they offered were insurance, and I’ve worked across a number of categories in insurance.”
In 2013 Hennin was “very privileged” to be tapped to set up and lead nib New Zealand, which was launched that year following the acquisition of Tower Medical Insurance by Australia-headquartered nib holdings.
Looking back, the CEO said: “I’ve worked in a number of product categories, and I must admit I’ve enjoyed them. I’ve sold ice cream; I’ve been involved with Visa International on some wonderful, big sporting events, including the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.
“I’ve done some really interesting things, but there is nothing better than waking up in the morning knowing that your purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of your members.
“Think about it, every day we help people to live healthier lives. That’s pretty easy to get excited about. It’s not just making money; it’s not just delivering programmes and whatever. It is about helping people improve their health outcomes.”
For Hennin, making the switch to insurance was a matter of expanding his career while at the same time working in a business that contributed to people having healthier lives.
“I work for a very purpose-driven business, and I’m a very purpose-driven person,” the nib NZ boss told Insurance Business. “So, it was a good fit.”
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