Aviva shakes up management for 'transformation'

Aviva shakes up management for 'transformation'

Aviva has made organisational changes as part of a “strategic focus” on customers’ needs.

It is bringing its UK insurance businesses together under the leadership of Andy Briggs who will become chief executive for UK insurance, responsible for all Aviva’s insurance businesses in the UK.

Meanwhile Maurice Tulloch will become chief executive international insurance, responsible for Aviva’s insurance operations in France, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey and India.

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As a result of these changes David McMillan, chairman of Aviva Global Health Insurance and chief executive of Aviva Europe, has chosen to leave the company.

Mark Wilson, Aviva’s chief executive, said: “Aviva is entering a new phase in its transformation.

“We have fixed the balance sheet, focused the business, and turned the operating performance around. The business is developing rapidly.

“We see significant opportunities to differentiate our business in the UK post-Brexit.

“We like the UK. We are investing in the UK and we are growing in the UK.

“Our priorities are to continue to deepen our position in our home UK market with our 16 million customers, and to continue to grow in our core international markets to diversify and strengthen Aviva. This puts us in a peer group of one.”

Aviva Investors, Aviva Asia and the Digital businesses will remain as separate entities.

Chris Wei will remain executive chairman of Aviva Asia and global chairman of Aviva Digital and Euan Munro will remain chief executive of Aviva Investors.

Mr Briggs joined Aviva when it bought Friends Life, which he had been chief executive of since 2011.

Jeremy Edwards, a financial adviser with Cambridgeshire-based Martin Redman Partners, said: "We have done a fair bit of business with Aviva in the past, but not a lot recently.

"In general the frustration is that when things go right they go well, but when things go badly it can take an age to sort them out.

"It is difficult to make someone take a decision which will make them poorer in the short run so I am not sure how digital is going to work for products which are normally advised."

JP Morgan Cazenove analyst Ashik Mussadi, said the management shake-up was positive news.

Mr Mussadi said: "We believe that Aviva has the potential to become a growth stock in the UK. Over the past few years, Aviva has addressed issues around its tight capital position and high leverage, which reduced the growth prospects in capital-intensive businesses, as it now it focuses more on the less risky, fee-based business model."

Neil Woodford has begun "building a modest position" in life company Aviva.

The founding partner of Woodford Investment Management revealed the new position in a blog post.

He cited the provider's "good management" and "attractive valuations", comparing it to fellow insurance giant Legal & General.