Forty years strong at Fidelity Life

This year, Fidelity Life turns 40 and we are proud to have been able to provide protection to New Zealanders for 40 years. We remain New Zealand's largest locally owned and operated life insurance company. It's been four decades of dedication and hard work since our founder Gordon Watson wrote his first policy on Shirley Watson, his wife, on June 1, 1973. But at the 40-year mark our position is one of strength.

We maintain an A-(Excellent) financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company - a rating held consistently since 1996.

Fidelity Life currently employs over 170 staff nationwide in six centres, many of whom have incredibly long service records with the company. Our CEO Milton Jennings has been with Fidelity Life 26 years and is the longest-serving life insurance industry head in the country.

As well as taking active steps to reduce our environmental footprint, Fidelity Life puts social responsibility at the core of our operations. We are a key sponsor of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ (LBC), and have been for many years. And while Fidelity Life offers LBC much in the way of financial support, it also sees many of our staff members commit large amounts of time and effort to fundraising initiatives. Over the years we have shaved, run and walked to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for the charity. Milton Jennings has personally raised over $80,000 through his LBC Golf Marrowthon and Shave for a Cure participation.

Fidelity Life also supports the Foundation for Youth Development and Multiple Sclerosis Society Auckland. As a life insurer, fully understand the role we can play to support health and fitness for all staff members, and we have recently become the national sponsor of The Corporate Challenge, the five kilometre race undertaken by a range of New Zealand company workers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

We have expanded our group risk business over the last year and also the UK pension transfer market, having been one of the first companies to gain QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) status. Our insurance book continues to grow, with the company having purchased the Tower, FMG and Lumley life books along the way.

We have an independent, privately-owned structure; and we view our status seriously as a New Zealand owned and operated company in an industry dominated by foreign owned banks and insurers. As we move into our fifth decade, we look forward to doing more of what we've always done - providing protection to widows, orphans and superannuitants, and supporting independent New Zealand advisers.