The New Zealander of the Year and Other Business Networks


Earlier this year, the New Zealand Society in London awarded Mark Wilson as the UK New Zealander of the Year. The award is a recognition of New Zealanders hard work - business or community-wise - in the United Kingdom. The award recognised Wilson’s work as Group CEO of Aviva, one of the UK’s biggest insurance companies and leader of sustainable businesses. Wilson was awarded for his contribution to leading global discussions on businesses’ lasting legacies.

Originally from Rotorua, New Zealand, the 40-year old CEO has worked in London since 2013, helping Aviva refocus its financial strength. His work has been so significant that he accompanied British Prime Minister on a trade mission to Asia in 2015 to strengthen the links between New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He was later invited to address the UN General Assembly about their business expectations for the following fifteen years.

Mark Wilson is just an example of the hard work and leadership New Zealanders bring to the table with British businesses. Groups such as the New Zealand Business Women’s Network in London shine a light on the importance of working together as a community for the greater good of ties between both nations.

The Women’s Network is member-based and has women from all levels of the corporate and creative worlds on its roster. Many of them run their own businesses. Besides organising events for networking and other, the group is a support system for each other’s businesses and a perfect way to connect with other people to push their products and creations. They hold meetings constantly at New Zealand-related spots throughout London where members are given the opportunity to showcase their ideas and help launch successful products not only in the UK and NZ, but anywhere in the world where any of these women have ties.

Another great way to boost NZ businesses not only in London but around the world is through Kea. Self-defined as “New Zealand’s Borderless Nation”, Kea helps connect Kiwis with Kiwis, wherever they may be in the world. These are important business connections that offer global opportunities. Finding other Kiwis in London is key to starting up and boosting international sales.