Peter Harris was brought up on a dairy farm in the Waikato farming district of Rangiriri, where deals were done on a handshake and hard work was an enjoyable, natural part of life. Peter became Head Boy at Southwell School in Hamilton, and became a loyal defender of the those who needed a hand-up or some advocacy to help overcome some unfairness or disadvantage. A prize named in his honour is still awarded at Southwell School’s annual prize-giving for the person most displaying these qualities.
The majority of these strategies were focused on expanding the firm’s existing relationships while helping to improve and develop them. Since joining the company in 2007, Peter Harris helped to underpin the company’s growth through expanding CBL Insurance’s underwriting experience while enhancing its local market knowledge. As a result of this, the business continued expanding across New Zealand in the years following his appointment as CEO.
Peter Harris helped the firm to expand internationally, with CBL eventually owning subsidiary companies in Ireland and Australia. The company also went on to have three managing general agents (MGAs) across the United Kingdom and France. CBL Insurance also expanded to have operations in 25 countries worldwide, many of which came from businesses that the company purchased.
The majority of this expansion has been since 2000 when Peter Harris and others began pursuing an aggressive growth strategy across a variety of countries. The majority of this was focused on Latin America and Europe, although the firm also sought opportunities in Australia while maintaining its operations in New Zealand.
Much of this was driven by a variety of unique strategies that Harris and an array of others identified. One of the most notable of these was locating and developing non-traditional and specialist insurance lines that not only serve a client’s needs but helped to drive the firm’s profits. Some of the more notable strategies that Peter Harris has helped pursue include credit risk products, guarantees, and sureties, as well as financial bonds and other non-traditional insurance products and services.
Throughout this time, he looked to maximize profit without negatively affecting revenue growth, which is something that many of the services that CBL Insurance provided helped to offer. A strong organic growth strategy, as well as an aggressive acquisition policy, helped to advance this goal further.
Alongside this, he’s developed and refined a variety of skills that have made him an asset in each of the roles that he’s served in, such as being able to identify unique and under-served markets.
Before working with CBL Insurance, Peter Harris held a variety of other positions and served on the board of several companies, many of which he is still affiliated with. Over the past few decades, he’s held roles with Alliance Investments Ltd, Boston Marks International, Special Risks Insurance Brokers, and others, the majority of which he served as director.
Alongside this, he is a board member of Assetinsure Holdings Pty Ltd, with which he’s worked since 2016, and European Insurance Services Ltd, a position he still holds. Throughout this time, he has been involved in a variety of strategies focused on boosting each company’s revenues while maximizing profit. In total, he serves on the board of 25 companies. He also serves as a member of several professional organizations, including the Australian Graduate School of Management, the New Zealand Latin America Business Council, and the New Zealand Institute of Management.
Before entering the insurance world, Peter Harris earned a variety of qualifications, including a Master’s degree, which he obtained from the University of Auckland. He also received a graduate degree from the University of Auckland Business School. Over the past several years, he has also received a variety of accolades, such as being named Entrepreneur of the Year by EY, as well as a variety of other awards, while earning a significant amount of praise from others in the industry.
Managing Director and CEO
Oversaw the growth of CBL to become the largest New Zealand-owned insurance company (in terms of annual GWP), with an investment-grade international financial strength rating from AM Best of A- (Excellent) with an Outlook of “Positive.”
International Business Director
Partook in the final buyout of CBL Insurance in 1996, and subsequently oversaw organic growth ad international acquisitions. Harris built strong partnerships with expert, world-renowned distributors which helped elevate CBL to an international level.
General Capital Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer
Provided investment banking services to high net worth private clients and high market private corporate markets in the aviation, contracting & transportation industry.
Boston Marks Group Ltd.
Finance Director, Shareholder
Provided Insurance and financial consultants to the contracting, transportation, and aviation industries of New Zealand.