Westpac Group has announced it will sell its New Zealand life insurance business, Westpac Life-NZ-Limited, to New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer, Fidelity Life, as part of a long-term strategic alliance.
Under the terms of the agreement, Fidelity Life will acquire Westpac Life from Westpac Group for NZ$400m, and will also enter into a 15-year life insurance distribution arrangement with Westpac NZ.
Fidelity Life’s largest shareholder the NZ Super Fund and new investor Ngāi Tahu Holdings will fund the majority of the acquisition.
Westpac NZ acting chief executive Simon Power says Fidelity Life are leaders in the life insurance industry.
“We’re delighted to be entering into this alliance. In talking to Fidelity Life we were extremely impressed with their single-minded focus on their customers.”
Mr Power said the sale would not affect customers’ insurance policies.
“Westpac Life customers do not need to take any action. Nothing changes with their policies and we know they’ll be in great hands with Fidelity Life.
“As part of the agreement, we will also be working with Fidelity Life to offer life insurance products to our customers for the next 15 years.
“Life insurance forms a vital part of financial planning for the future and will continue to feature in conversations with our customers to help them achieve their goals.”
Fidelity Life chief executive Melissa Cantell says the alliance with Westpac NZ is based on a shared focus on delivering good customer outcomes.
“This is a true partnership with Westpac NZ, who share our aspiration to reimagine life insurance and help more New Zealanders protect their way of life.
“The partnership will also allow us to leverage the investments we’re already making in our customer experience, data and technology, as well as our strong New Zealand brand, to make the transition a smooth one for Westpac Life customers and team members.
“We’re excited to be welcoming Westpac Life and Ngāi Tahu Holdings to Fidelity Life.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and is expected to occur by the end of 2021.