Aviva unveils new UK chief

INSURER Aviva has announced a shake-up of its business with a new boss and management structure.<br /><br />The move will see its UK Life and Pensions unit come under the leadership of new chief executive Mark Hodges.<br /><br />Under the restructure, which will take effect on 1 January, a series of other executive changes will also be made. <br /><br />Toby Strauss &ndash; currently chief operating officer of UK Life &ndash; will be promoted to chief executive of the division, while David McMillan &ndash; chief operating officer of UK General Insurance &ndash; will be promoted to chief executive of the arm. <br /><br />Cathryn Riley has been appointed as the new UK commercial director. She is currently chief operating and information officer for Aviva&rsquo;s European business. <br /><br />And Craig Thornton is to join Aviva as UK chief risk officer from Swiss Re, where he is managing director of UK life and health reinsurance.<br /><br />Hodges said: &ldquo;This new structure will underpin Aviva&rsquo;s future growth in the UK, releasing the full potential of our brand. By bringing our UK businesses closer together under a single&nbsp; leadership team we can serve our customers more effectively.&rdquo;<br /><br />Aviva is the world&rsquo;s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50m customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.<br /><br />The company had worldwide total sales of &pound;51.4bn and funds under management of &pound;381bn at 31 December 2008.<br /><strong><br />MARK HODGES<br />UK CEO AVIVA<br />LIFE &amp; PENSIONS</strong><br /><br />MARK Hodges has worked with the group for 17 years, having joined Norwich Union shortly after qualifying as an accountant in 1991. He previously held roles as finance director and then managing director of Norwich Union General Insurance. Hodges was appointed the chief executive of Norwich Union Life, a leading life and long term savings provider in the UK, in April 2006. <br /><br />During that time he was credited with increasing profits and cutting costs. His new role sees him rise to the top of the company where he has worked as man and boy. A senior member of the Aviva board described him as an &ldquo;outstanding executive with a rare mix of operational and strategic expertise.&rdquo; Hodges is married and has three daughters and a son. He has a keen interest in rugby and golf and is an avid follower of Norwich City football team. He is a professionally qualified accountant and has an MBA from Cranfield Business School.<br /><br />During his time as Norwich Union Insurance finance director, Hodges played a key role in the acquisition of RAC. Following the purchase of RAC, Mark was appointed as managing director of NUGI in May 2005.<br />