Huge 100 Year Birthday Party for FMG Rural
May 25 2005
Huge 100 Year Birthday Party for FMG Rural community Out in Style in Palmerston North
More than 700 guests from throughout the country are tonight celebrating the 100th birthday of New Zealand’s leading rural insurance and finance company FMG.
Established in 1905 by farmers seeking better products and services for their insurance needs, FMG has grown to become the undisputed market leader and New Zealand’s specialist rural insurance group.
Today the company’s membership has grown to over 55000, with a staff of 225 and 23 branches throughout New Zealand. Among those attending the gala dinner being held at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North are descendants of founding members who still continue to hold original policies taken out by their forbears.
FMG Chief Executive Gordon Smith said the mutual association was very proud to celebrate its centennial as few 100% New Zealand-owned companies can claim to have reached the milestone.
“The strong support and loyalty of the rural community in which we operate is the reason we are around to celebrate 100 years – the farming community instigated our beginnings and some of the country’s most celebrated farming leaders have steered our direction,” Mr Smith said.
The company’s mutual heritage had ensured FMG was unique and continued to operate differently to its competitors.
“We are the only true mutual rural insurance association in New Zealand, aiming to provide specialised products, a level of service second-to-none and support to the rural communities we serve.”
FMG had performed well in recent years following a repositioning project that has placed greater emphasis on core business activity.
“Our strength is in our specialised products and services looking after the needs of the rural community, which we consider to be all those who live on the land, work on the land or support those who do.”
A number of activities have been organised throughout the centenary year to celebrate the achievement with key stakeholders.
The celebrations began with the launch of a well researched book on FMG’s first 100 years written by retired employee Russ Standing.
Titled ‘Pride Passion and Parochialism – a History of FMG 1905 to 2005’, Mr Standing, of Hawera, spent more than two years researching material and writing the book.
“This book on our history is going to be a hugely valuable resource, as it also captures the stories of many of the country’s rural leaders, innovators and pioneers,” Mr Smith says.
Next month FMG plans to launch two new student scholarships to study an agriculture related course at Massey or Lincoln Universities.
The company will also host staff and client functions throughout the country, enabling many of its association members to participate and celebrate the 100-year achievement.