It was announced today that Nick Stanhope, CEO of AIA New Zealand, was selected for the annual Insurance Business Global 100 list which recognises industry leaders around the world making a positive difference and helping to drive change across the insurance sector. This is the third consecutive year Stanhope has been selected for the list.
“I’m pleased to once again be recognised,” says Stanhope, “and I want to acknowledge the enormous effort that the AIA NZ team put in over the last 12 months to continue to make a difference for our customers and partners. 2021 was an outstanding year for us in term of business performance in light of the challenging environment we were operating in.”
While there is no doubt the global pandemic brought with it challenges, Stanhope says there has been one silver lining for the insurance industry. “Covid-19 really highlighted the importance of life insurance for many New Zealanders, and making sure their financial wellbeing is protected.”
Stanhope took some well-deserved extended leave at the end of 2021, with Chief Customer and Digital Officer Sharron Botica taking up the reins as Acting CEO for the three month period. During that time Stanhope enjoyed some quality family time with his wife and daughters, and moved their family home north of Auckland to idyllic Matakana, leading from the top with embracing the company’s flexible working approach.
Now back at the AIA helm he is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities 2022 presents for his business.
“This year brings further conduct regulation with the Financial Markets (Conduct of Financial Institutions) Amendment Bill (CoFi) later this year, and AIA is focused on making sure we have the right tools in place to support our people, partners and the wider industry in complying with these new requirements.”
Stanhope says his attention this year will be centred on reconnecting – with his people and AIA’s business partners. “The past two years have been challenging with very few employees in any of our AIA NZ offices. We did this purposely with our people’s health, safety and wellbeing at the forefront, and to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spreading throughout our workforce. I feel we need to start getting back to more of a ‘business as usual’ mindset, while embracing these new ways of working.
“It really felt like we were all in survival mode for a large part of last year, and I look forward to having more in-person interactions, reconnecting at events, and getting out there to see our advisers and business partners in 2022.”
Stanhope also indicated AIA’s intention to bring new innovations to the NZ market. “We’re exploring how to extend the current insurance pool to help protect more Kiwis. The traditional new business risk market is in decline, and we want to help close the protection gap by addressing unmet customer through focussing on seamless digital and affordable solutions.
“I’m excited about what AIA could create by leveraging our global support network, and how it will deliver on AIA’s dream of championing New Zealand to be one of the healthiest and best protected nations in the world.”