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Aviva’s protection distribution head to exit after 38 years

Aviva’s protection distribution head to exit after 38 years
Aviva’s outgoing head of protection distribution Mark Cracknell

Aviva’s head of protection distribution Mark Cracknell is leaving the insurer at the end of this year after 38 years at the company.

Cracknell has led Aviva’s protection distribution for the past seven years. Prior to this, the insurance industry veteran spent eleven years at Friends Life UK and a further 16 years at Friends Provident.

Friends Provident was a life business which the provider purchased back in 2015 as part of Friends Life.

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In his role at Friends Life, he oversaw the strategic partnerships between the insurer and financial advice businesses.

Under the Aviva brand, Cracknell was responsible for the distribution of individual protection throughout the UK intermediary market.

Aviva confirmed Cracknell’s exit, saying it was actively looking at options “including recruitment” as it seeks to continue growing the protection market alongside advisers.

A spokesperson told FTAdviser: “After 38 years with Aviva, Mark Cracknell is leaving the business at the end of the year and we thank him for his contribution over many years of service and wish him all the best for the future.”

Today (November 9), Aviva published its third quarter results for 2022. It recorded a 3 per cent dip in the value of new business for its protection and health insurance arm between July and September this year, saying individual protection volumes were flat and that present value of new business premiums were down due to higher interest rates.

Overall, life sales were down 2 per cent.

Yesterday (November 8), Canada Life announced its exit from the UK’s individual protection market. Experts dubbed the market exit “disappointing”.

Insurers including Old Mutual, Scottish Provident, Bupa, and AXA have all taken decisions to shutter their individual protection arms in the UK.

Last year, individual protection sales rebounded for providers by over 6 per cent. This year, the industry has briefed providers on touching base with clients to stem the flow of policy cancellations as people cut their outgoings during the cost of living crisis.

Nearly one-fifth of advisers have reported being contacted by clients about reducing or cancelling their protection policies as a result of the cost of living crisis.

Research released by Guardian Financial Services found that of the 701 financial advisers surveyed about the current economic climate, 18 per cent had been contacted by clients wishing to reduce their cover.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com