News

Cary Veenhof - the BDM’s BDM

26 June 2018

Fidelity Life Business Development Manager Cary Veenhof is remembered by his work colleagues as a loyal friend and consummate sales professional.

The tragic death of Cary Veenhof at just 53, following a road accident on 20 June 2018, is being felt keenly by colleagues past and present with whom he shared his 16-year career at Fidelity Life.

Cary possessed a great deal of accountability and integrity, and always treated others with respect. As a result, Cary quickly earned people’s trust and many of his colleagues saw him not just as a workmate but as a friend.

Cary first joined the insurance industry in his native South Africa in the 1990s. He worked as a BDM for insurer The Old Mutual in Johannesburg, where he impressed with his professionalism.

In 2001 Cary and his partner Mark Brown made the decision to move to New Zealand, and in 2002 Cary joined Fidelity Life. Mark joined Cary at Fidelity Life two years later where he continues to work today. Cary’s first role was in Client Services, however it was evident that Cary’s true passion was sales, and before long he was back in familiar territory as a BDM.

Cary was dedicated to his advisers and was happy to work long hours; he was often the first to arrive at work and the last to leave, and it wasn’t unusual to find him in the office on Saturdays.

While Cary’s professionalism and sense of style are perhaps his best-known traits – he was seldom seen at work without a tie – his dry, understated sense of humour often surprised people. This was often expressed through his advocacy for diversity and equality issues and many staff members can recall Cary greeting them for the first time with a cheery: “Hi, I’m Cary and I’m gay.”

Cary was a natural host and would often take over at informal team events by adding ‘a bit of glamour’, which would have his colleagues in fits of laughter.

He also had a strong sense of fairness and would insist on buying gifts for every one of his colleagues when overseas. If gifts for everyone could not be found, then nobody would get one. Workmates also note that Cary wouldn’t allow them to buy him lunch unless it was first agreed he would repay them the following day.

Cary and Mark met back in South Africa and were married in New Zealand in 2015. They shared a great love of dogs and a passion for gardening, which they indulged when visiting Mark’s parents at their home in Warkworth. Cary’s eye for detail resulted in immaculately edged lawns which were mowed twice a week without fail.

Cary will be sadly missed by his colleagues, advisers and peers across the industry. He would have wanted us to get on with things and look after his advisers in the highly professional and respectful way that was Cary’s trademark. That’s exactly what we’ll do to honour him.

Farewell, Cary.

Cary’s celebration service – Friday 29 June

  • A celebration of Cary’s life will be held on Friday 29 June, 11am at the Aotea Centre, NZI Room, in Auckland
  • As this is a celebration, black dress is not a requirement
  • Refreshments will be served after the service
  • Please note in lieu of flowers donations can be made to Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ or Paw Justice - Pet Rescue. Click here to make a donation