Aviva old guard steps down for top Aussie job

 
Michael Bow
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INSURANCE giant Aviva yesterday announced the resignation of its chief financial officer Pat Regan, just a year after he narrowly missed out on the job leading the company.

Regan, who was made CFO in 2010, said he will step down in June to take up the reins as chief executive officer at Australian insurer QBE Insurance.

No successor has been appointed yet but the firm is searching internally and externally for Regan’s replacement. The insurance veteran, who has held senior positions at Willis Group, RSA and AXA, said he was sad to be leaving Aviva but was looking forward to his new role leading QBE.

“Aviva is a great business with a bright future ahead of it,” he added.

Regan was one of the few survivors from former chief executive Andrew Moss’s regime before Moss resigned in 2012 following intense pressure from shareholders.

Regan was widely tipped as a potential successor to Moss before the chief executive’s role was given to current boss Mark Wilson.

His decision to stay in his role surprised many but it is thought Regan wanted to stay with the group to help Wilson oversee the company’s transition.

Wilson said: “After a successful career at Aviva, Pat has decided to take a new role outside the group. Pat has been a tremendous support in assisting me with Aviva’s financial transformation.

“I am supportive of his decision, and he leaves with my best wishes and those of Aviva’s board,” he added.

Regan will move to Sydney to head up QBE, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange.

The firm has struggled over the past 12 months with a number of analyst downgrades following poor performance, a situation Regan will be hoping to reverse. Aviva’s shares closed down 1.34 per cent yesterday while QBE fell 0.09 per cent.