What is 2018 looking like for your business?
2018 is definitely going to be challenging and exciting as we go for growth.
Having spent recent years rationalising and setting a growth platform, in 2018 we'll be executing our new strategy which is focused on strengthening our core business, and leveraging technology and customer insights to drive innovation and engagement.
Enhancing our product and service levels and high-performance culture are also key.
How is that different to 2017? How has the last year been for your business?
2017 was a year of transformation at Fidelity Life.
We built further strength at both board and executive levels, and developed a new strategy to grow a resilient, sustainable business.
We paid out a record number of claims – over $104 million – which means we were there when our customers needed us most.
We also achieved a significant milestone in our history with a $100 million investment in our business by New Zealand's pre-eminent investor, the NZ Super Fund, which provides us with the necessary capital to achieve our growth ambitions.
What are the issues affecting your industry in the next 12 months?
The biggest issue is New Zealand's knowledge gap when it comes to understanding the benefits of having life insurance products.
Our challenge is how we reach more New Zealanders in a way that helps them improve their knowledge of wealth protection, use simplified language to understand our products and most importantly reinforce the benefits of having cover.
Our industry is opportunity-rich with the significant levels of consolidation, regulatory and technological change.
Our biggest challenge is how we take advantage of all the opportunities coming our way, whilst we continue to deliver strong products and services.
We are focused on innovation, productivity and improved support for our customers, advisers and partners.
We are playing an active role in regulatory discussions and a leadership role within the industry. The future really is ours to shape.
What is the biggest issue you would like the new Government to champion in 2018?
Continuing the passage of the new financial advice legislation will be a great start, as this will help ensure consumers' interests always come first and build further confidence and trust in our industry.
Alongside this, raising levels of financial literacy has been talked about by successive Governments and, working in partnership with the industry, I'd like to think this new Government has a real opportunity to make some further gains.
Helping Kiwis better understand the need to build their wealth and protect their most important asset – their ability to earn income - is good for our financial well-being and for our communities.
Do you get a break this summer? What's your favourite way to relax?
After an incredibly busy year I'm really looking forward to a couple of weeks off, which will include spending time at the family bach, with a mix of relaxing and playing sport.
High on my list is reading a great book under a beach umbrella while hearing my two girls play in the sunshine. Nothing beats a Kiwi summer.