In 1861 BNZ first opened its doors, and has since been helping New Zealanders “be good with money” for over 150 years. As well as helping everyday Kiwis deal with their banking needs, BNZ has also been a pillar for businesses. The bank, which was first started by Thomas Russell after he was unable to get funding for his projects from existing institutions, has retained its core entrepreneurial spirit, supporting everything from New Zealand’s fledgling start-ups to its successful corporates.
Shelley Ruha, Director of BNZ Partners, says that growing businesses face a multitude of challenges every day. “In order for businesses to continue to grow, they often need access to capital and different types of lending products,” says Ruha. “Our job is to understand our customer’s business and provide the right solution at the right stage of that growth.”
Established in 2008, the Partners model is underpinned by a number of strong relationships and links with organisations. It provides its customers with access to products and relationships across the bank, as well as access to their wider network, to support them in achieving their goals.
Relationships such as The Icehouse, the Auckland-based fast growth ecosystem, which has worked with over 5,000 businesses and start-ups. “On average, businesses who work with The Icehouse have grown quicker than the New Zealand norm, and our relationship with them, which goes back 15 years as a founding partner, reflects our joint commitment to helping businesses grow,” says Ruha.
Shelley Ruha, Director of BNZ Partners.
The Deloitte Fast 50 then celebrates the success of those fast growing companies. Now in its 16th year, BNZ have been a partner for the last three. “It’s more than just an opportunity to recognise the success of these businesses; the Deloitte Fast 50 also provides an opportunity to learn and think about their next stage of growth, and that’s something we’re proud to be part of”.
In fact, nearly half of the Deloitte Fast 50 winners are BNZ customers, and that’s because BNZ understands what a business needs from a bank in order to grow.
Ruha explains that whatever the business, the main focus of BNZ is to provide expertise and unique solutions for effective growth. “Different industries have different challenges. Our Partners work with a team of specialists to provide a whole range of products and solutions specifically aimed at helping Kiwi businesses reach their aspirations.”