Canterbury insurance brokerage, Abbott Group, has sold a 25% shareholding to SBS Bank subsidiary Southsure Assurance Limited to fund growth.
Abbotts has grown considerably in the past three years and Chairman Graham Heenan says the board is committed to future growth in new markets to complement its Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington operations.
“It’s more than a cash injection. Southsure’s investment signals a new strategic partnership between two parties with a similar client-servicing focus and a commitment to local communities.”
Southsure’s parent company, SBS Bank, was a trusted New Zealand brand with the history, heritage and credibility of a company that’s been in business for 145 years, he said.
“Southsure’s investment is an endorsement of Abbott Group – our business, our people and our future – and it brings with it significant opportunities for all.”
Abbott Group General Manager Mark Reid said the Group had been monitoring the market for growth opportunities for some time but had put plans on hold in the immediate aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes.
“Our first responsibility is always to our existing clients, and it was clear in the early hours of September 2010 where our priorities would lie for the coming months.
“February 2011 cemented that. Within the hour, our partners were on the phone to their clients. And it’s only really been in the past few months we’ve started to talk with our investment partner again.”
He says the Abbott Group was truly tried and tested after the Canterbury earthquakes and that its reputation for client servicing post ‘quakes bodes well for future growth initiatives.
“We believe we have a lot to offer, with a proven track-record following one of the largest insurance events in global history.”
Southsure specialises in personal and consumer insurance and complements the Abbott Group offer.
The settlement took place on April 7.
Founded in 1981, Abbott Group (Abbotts) is a leading independent insurance brokerage with offices in Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington.
Abbotts specialises in risk management advice for commercial and personal insurance, and life and health insurance; and financial management advice, including KiwiSaver and home loans.
Southsure Assurance Limited (Southsure) was founded in 1987 and distributes personal and consumer insurances through SBS Bank subsidiaries, national retailers and other financial intermediaries, and directly under the Southsure brand.
Established in 1869, SBS Bank gained its Banking Licence from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in October 2008. It has retained its mutual structure so profits are retained in NZ and distributed for the benefit of SBS customers and the local communities.