Aviva's new chief promises to focus on fundamentals

Aviva's new chief promises to focus on fundamentals

Aviva's new chief executive Maurice Tulloch has promised to "focus on the fundamentals" and boost the insurance giant's share price.

Mr Tulloch joined the insurer in 1992 and was most recently chief executive of its international insurance business.

He was preciously in charge of the general insurance arm of the UK business and prior to that of Aviva Canada, with responsibility for the strategic direction and operation of Canada's second largest property and casualty insurer. 

His appointment follows Mark Wilson's departure last October after five years at the helm of the provider.

Mr Wilson was instrumental in transforming Aviva by simplifying the company's business model, reducing its market footprint from 28 markets to 14, and improving its balance sheet.

He also oversaw one of the biggest insurance takeovers when Aviva acquired Friends Life in a £5bn deal.

However, Aviva's share price has underperformed its peers, rising 25 per cent during Mr Wilson's tenure against 61 per cent for the insurance sector of the FTSE 100, while it has fallen about 18 per cent since its peak prior to the Friends Life deal.

Mr Tulloch said: "I am honoured to lead Aviva, a business I've been part of for 26 years.

"There is a clear opportunity to realise Aviva's significant but untapped potential. Aviva is financially strong, we have a well-known brand and excellent businesses. 

"But there is more to do to improve returns for shareholders.

"We must focus on the fundamentals of insurance and giving our customers the best possible experience - being there when they need us, protecting what's important to them and helping them save for the future.

"With the care and professionalism of our dedicated people, I know Aviva will thrive."

Mr Tulloch will receive a basic annual salary of £975,000 and a bonus that will pay up to a maximum of 200 per cent of his salary.

He will also be eligible for an award under Aviva's long-term incentive plan, which typically amounts to 300 per cent of a CEO's salary.

Adrian Montague, chairman of Aviva, said: "Maurice will be an outstanding chief executive of Aviva.

"He knows the business inside out. He has led our businesses in the UK and internationally and built strong teams across life insurance and general insurance.

"Maurice knows our strengths, knows where we need to improve and has a deep understanding of insurance and customers' needs. He is exceptionally well qualified to re-energise Aviva and deliver long-term growth."