In January 2018, the Fund invested in Fidelity Life, New Zealand’s largest locally owned and operated life insurer. The transaction saw the Fund take a NZD100m, 41.1% cornerstone stake in the company.
Founded in 1973, Fidelity Life's vision is powering the New Zealand sense of adventure. The company distributes its life insurance products to Kiwi consumers and businesses via a network of 2,700 independent financial advisors and strategic alliance partners. Fidelity Life has an established track record of performance in the competitive insurance market. It is well capitalised, holds an A- (Excellent) rating from agency A.M. Best (maintained for 21 consecutive years), and is the third largest life insurer operating in New Zealand with a market share of approximately 11%.
The Fund's investment in Fidelity Life is consistent with our local investment strategy to target large transactions in the private markets where our endowments give us a unique opportunity to add value. In the case of Fidelity Life, we believe we have found closely aligned partners, with our patient capital and outlook allowing the company to drive its long-term growth strategy.
Since the investment, the Guardians has appointed Lindsay Smartt and Hamish Rumbold as its external representatives on the Fidelity Life Board. Mr Smartt has had an extensive career in risk, finance and governance across New Zealand, Australia and Asia. He currently holds a number of other directorships, including with the BT Financial Group insurance companies and The Infants’ Home and is Chair of The Salvation Army Employment Plus. Mr Rumbold is a widely experienced leader and director, with a demonstrated track record in digital retailing, customer and user experience and data analytics across a range of industries. He is currently the CEO of ClearPoint Ltd, a New Zealand-based software development company.