Congratulations to the winners of Workplace Savings Awards and Financial Services Council Awards. I was delighted to see Treena Jordan of AIA win the diversity award, and Ben Rose of nib win innovation, and Jenn Dobinson who has done lots of work with the New Zealand Society of Actuaries, along with colleague Peter Kenny of AMP.
Treena Jordan's win in the diversity category is worth explaining. Treena championed the removal of the HIV / AIDS exclusion from AIA's medical insurance. Recognising that the situation with HIV and AIDS has changed and enabled this product decision was important, advocating to recognise that and enable the change for consumers - that's the hard part, and I am very glad it has been done. There is more to be done - especially in trauma policies on the same point, disclosure around gender and sexuality, and supporting access to our products for vulnerable people with changes like in-language resources, and improved access to high quality financial advice.
Nominees that I particularly want to acknowledge are:
Mark Banicevich, Partners Life - who has done some incredible work with the FSC, given a great deal of time and effort, and is very generous with his time and expertise. He has strong values focused on the development of a better market place - and demonstrated those at the FMA and now in his role at Partners Life. Partners Life has allowed him to serve the industry in that way is also worth recognising.
Robyn Bartlett, Asteron Life - has a strong track record in product innovation. This is both hard to achieve in personal risk insurance and requires commitment and dedication in a supportive environment. The development of Workability, the changes made to the wider income protection range is another good example, since the nomination was made the launch of the continuous trauma benefit is more evidence.
Here are some photos of a couple of the winners - please bear in mind they were taken at the gala dinner.