Aviva chief exec: Turnaround is complete, so let's get on with post-Brexit business

Oliver Gill
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Andy Briggs (right) will head up Aviva's combined UK insurance business (Source: Getty)

Aviva today announced a large organisational shake-up that will enable the insurance giant to capitalise on the significant opportunities present by the Brexit vote.

The group's UK operations, previously separated into life, general and health insurance divisions will be brought together under the leadership of current Aviva life chief exec Andy Briggs.

Read more: Aviva shares jump 4.5 per cent as chief exec puts faith in the UK

The new UK insurance division will include former UK life insurance competitor Friends Life, which Aviva purchased in 2015.

“Aviva is entering a new phase in its transformation," said Aviva group chief exec Mark Wilson. "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.

The personnel changes mean current chief exec of Aviva Europe and chair of Aviva global health insurance, David McMillan, will leave the FTSE 100 group.

Meanwhile, the firm's overseas insurance operations outside of Asia will be pulled together under one umbrella and led by Maurice Tulloch, who will be the chief exec of the newly formed Aviva international insurance.

Deep UK position

“Our priorities are to continue to deepen our position in our home UK market with our 16m 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," said Wilson.

Read more: Aviva to pay half of earnings back to shareholders from 2017

Aviva Investors, the group's asset management arm, Aviva Asia and its digital businesses will remain as separate entities.

The group's share price fell during early trading, regaining lost ground through the day: 0.5 per cent down on yesterday's close at 2pm.

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