Former Health Minister Tony Ryall appointed nib NZ chair; Clarke to focus on Hellaby

Tony Ryall has been an independent director at nib NZ since February 2015.

Former Health Minister Tony Ryall has been appointed chair of private health insurer nib holdings' New Zealand unit, as Alan Clarke steps down to focus on Hellaby Holdings.

Ryall has been an independent director at nib NZ since February 2015 and "brings a wealth of health industry experience, having served as the Minister of Health from 2008 until his retirement in 2014," the ASX-listed insurer said in a statement.

Nib holds nearly 16 percent of New Zealand's health insurance market, making it the second-largest health insurer. It bought Tower Medical Insurance in November 2012 for $102 million, and launched nib New Zealand in October 2013.

Clarke, who was appointed chair in March 2013, has handed over the role due to work commitments at Hellaby Holdings where he is managing director. He played an integral role in establishing nib's strong presence in New Zealand, the company said.

The local unit nearly tripled operating profit in the six months ended Dec. 31, 2015, as it bolstered its local presence with the purchase of OnePath Life (NZ)'s medical business. The local division's increased profit came from a combination of policyholder growth, lower than expected claims inflation, and a settlement on certain previously offered products which reduced nib's liability.

The ASX-listed shares last traded at A$4.22 and have gained 20 percent this year.


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