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Partners increase Partners Life business growth capacity

7 August 2013

Berkshire Hathaway and PartnerRe increase Partners Life business growth capacity

Partners Life Limited is delighted to announce the addition of Berkshire Hathaway and PartnerRe as retrocessionnaires to the SCOR reinsurance treaty.

The introduction of Berkshire Hathaway and PartnerRe further increases SCOR’s capacity to provide the reinsurance requirements for Partners Life’s rapidly growing business well into the future, whilst continuing the very close relationship Partners Life has always had with SCOR.

SCOR has been Partners Life reinsurance partner since inception in 2010, supporting its development as New Zealand’s fastest growing life business, providing fresh and innovative solutions for the financial and insurance needs of New Zealanders. This partnership has been highly successful, reflecting the strong relationship between the two teams.

“We are very pleased to welcome these two substantial partners as supporters of our reinsurance treaty with SCOR,” says Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director of Partners Life. “This arrangement further increases our reinsurance capacity, which is important given our unprecedented growth since inception only two years ago and our expected continued growth into the future. At the same time it allows us to maintain our key relationship with SCOR, who remain our principal treaty partner.”

Sean Kam, Chief Financial Officer of Partners Life says “the introduction of Berkshire Hathaway and PartnerRe into the SCOR treaty is a testament to the substantial company Partners Life has become in a very short period of time and the international reputation in the insurance industry of the Partners Life management team”.

“To have three of the most substantial global reinsurance companies working collectively to provide us with reinsurance support, allows us to focus firmly on our future, which we are very excited about.”

Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance (Ireland) Limited, domiciled in Dublin, is the European life reinsurance vehicle of the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group which in turn is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Group of companies run by Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services.

The insurance business activities of Berkshire Hathaway are conducted through approximately 70 domestic and internationally-based insurance and reinsurance companies. These businesses provide property and casualty insurance in the United States as well as property and casualty, life, accident and health reinsurance globally. Berkshire Hathaway is renowned for the exceptionally high overall levels of capital held in its insurance companies.

Partner Reinsurance SE is the European reinsurance subsidiary of PartnerRe, domiciled in Dublin.

PartnerRe is a leading global reinsurer with the capital and the capabilities in virtually every risk class and every geographic region to offer secure, customized solutions, responsive to its clients’ needs. For the year ended December 31, 2012, total revenues were $5.6 billion. At June 30, 2013, total assets were $22.6 billion, total capital was $7.2 billion and total shareholders’ equity attributable to PartnerRe was $6.4 billion. PartnerRe has Financial Strength Ratings of A+ (A.M. Best and Standard & Poors), A1 (Moody’s) and AA- (Fitch).

A top-five global reinsurer, SCOR has a balanced business model, with three powerful engines: SCOR Global Life (Life reinsurance), SCOR Global P&C (Non-Life reinsurance) and SCOR Global Investments (asset management). With premium income of over 13 billion USD expected in 2013, SCOR continues to reinforce its position as a leading global reinsurer and the added value it brings to its clients through its 37 offices worldwide. SCOR has total assets of $24 billion USD, and Financial Strength Ratings of A+ (Standard & Poors, Fitch and AM Best Issuer Credit) and A1 (Moody’s). The business is optimally positioned to offer innovative solutions, focusing on long term partnerships with clients, through its strong local operations supported by global centres of excellence.

Background information
New Zealand-owned life insurance company Partners Life, was founded in April 2011.

Partners Life has grown rapidly since it was founded. The company is one of the top three companies for new annual premium income (API) alongside Sovereign and OnePath.

Partners Life Founders, managing director Naomi Ballantyne, director Chris Coon and Richard Coon, are well known in the New Zealand life insurance industry from their involvement in the founding of Sovereign in 1989 (later sold to ASB).

Naomi Ballantyne then founded Club Life in 2001 which was sold to ING in 2004. Naomi Ballantyne remained as CEO until 2009. Club Life was subsequently purchased by ANZ and re-branded OnePath Life.

The major annual independent assessment of life companies in New Zealand for the second year running saw Partners Life achieve the highest overall satisfaction in the industry at 82%. (Overall satisfaction for the Life Risk insurance industry averages 77%.)

Professional Advisers Association selected Partners as 2013 Insurer of the Year.

Partners Life has attracted experienced non-executive directors to its board including:

Sam Knowles, Chairman of the Board and Non-Executive Director
• Former founder and CEO of Kiwibank
• Chairman of Xero Ltd and director of a number of listed and unlisted companies
• Member of NZ Institute of Directors
• Current Chairman of Government ICT Council

Boyd Klap, Non-Executive Director
• Former Chief Executive for Prudential New Zealand and the Life Offices Association
• Former Chairman of Sentinel
• Former Chairman of the Police Superannuation Fund
• Awarded Companion of the Queens Service Order for community service in 1993
• In 2011 he became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community

Joanna Perry, Non-Executive Director
• Currently a full-time independent, non-executive director of a diverse range of organisations in New Zealand and Australia
• Former KPMG audit partner responsible for both the Sovereign and Club Life audits
• Chairman of the Financial Reporting Standards Board for seven years
• Member of the Securities Commission for 11 years
• Awarded Membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Paul Chrystall, Non-Executive Director
• Managing Director of Maui Capital, which he co-founded in 2008
• Director of BJ Ball Group, Euro Corporation, Freshmax, Diversified Mining Services and Norfolk Group.
• Former Head of Private Equity at Goldman Sachs JBWere (NZ)

Partners has a number of major NZ and international institutional investors including Maui Capital, one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent private equity firms, and long-established Wellington-based investment company Rangatira.

Further information on Partners Life is available at


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