It was awfully sad to hear the news that Chris Coon has died. I can think of no words better than those by Chris Coon's friend and colleague, Naomi Ballantyne, in the following announcement:
It is with a heavy heart that I let you know about Chris’ passing yesterday morning after a lengthy illness.
For those of you who never had the pleasure of meeting and working with Chris either at Sovereign or in the early years of Partners Life, you missed something special.
Chris was the person who forever changed the NZ Life insurance market – first as the co-founder of Sovereign and then alongside his brother Richard and I as co-founder of Partners Life.
He brought the NZ industry into modern times with modern products and pricing structures and created a market where IFAs became important and appreciated.
Chris was an exceptionally intelligent Actuary but was also extremely kind and very funny.
As his first employee at Sovereign, he gave me as a very young girl, the opportunity of a lifetime to create a brand-new company – something that has set me up for the career that I have been blessed to have. He taught me almost everything I know about Life Insurance – he was always so generous with his time and with sharing his knowledge.
While Chris retired from working in our business many years ago, his presence is everywhere in our business and will continue well into the future.
I am heartbroken to have lost such a special person in my life – and I am so sorry for his wonderful family, that their brightest of lights has now died.
Thank you Chris for Partners Life – I hope you are proud of us!
As a very young commissions clerk I met Chris and can definitely reiterate Naomi's comments that Chris was kind and funny. It was only later that I would come to appreciate his intelligence and persistence. He was generous with everyone in the business, from his fellow founders to the cleaner, Owen, and his family. He will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.