AM Best Maintains Under Review With Developing Implications Status for Credit Ratings of Partners Life Limited


SINGAPORE–()–AM Best has maintained the under review with developing implications status for the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Partners Life Limited (Partners Life) (New Zealand).

These Credit Ratings (ratings) were placed under review with developing implications on 18 December 2020, following the announcement that Partners Life had entered into an agreement with National Australia Bank Limited to acquire its New Zealand life insurance business, including BNZ Life Insurance Limited (BNZ Life). The transaction also includes the establishment of an exclusive 10-year agreement for the referral of Bank of New Zealand customers with life insurance needs to Partners Life. The total transaction consideration is NZD 290 million (USD 208 million).

The ratings have been maintained under review with developing implications following a revision to the expected timeframe for completion of the transaction. Whilst remaining subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and other approvals, the transaction is now expected to complete in the second half of calendar year 2022.

The under review with developing implications status reflects the need for AM Best to assess fully the financial and operational impacts of the acquisition and the funding structure on Partners Life’s rating fundamentals, including on its balance sheet strength and business profile. The ratings will remain under review pending completion of the transaction and until AM Best can complete its assessment of Partners Life’s post-acquisition credit rating fundamentals.

For the fiscal year ended 31 March 2021, Partners Life’s risk-adjusted capitalisation remained at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). In addition, Partners Life’s parent, Partners Group Holdings Limited, has executed on a combination of capital and debt raising actions during fiscal year 2022, with the proceeds having predominantly been downstreamed to Partners Life. This has bolstered the company’s reported shareholders’ equity and is expected to result in risk-adjusted capitalisation remaining at the strongest level for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2022.

Partners Life has generated a robust five-year average return-on-equity ratio of 9.5% (fiscal years 2017 to 2021), albeit with a moderate level of volatility over this period due to discount rate movements impacting reported technical results. In fiscal year 2021, the company generated a return-on-equity ratio of 3.6%.

Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2022 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



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