THERE IS CHANGE IN THE AIR: IT’S TIME FOR GROWTH

GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AVIVA

Q. What has the mood been like at Davos this year?

A. There was an interesting change in the air compared with the last couple of years. While no-one is getting over-confident about our future economic prospects, there was some sense that it is time to think about growth again. However, I think there is a recognition that this growth must be sustainable.

Q. What kind of measures would you like to see to improve sustainability in the private sector?

A. Business needs a longer term focus from board level downwards: sustainability needs to become part of the corporate DNA. The benefits for the economy and society more broadly are clear and quantifiable. As an insurer, we’re very alive to this – ours is a long term business. The decisions we take today have an impact on our customers’ financial well-being decades into the future.

Q. Regulation has been raised repeatedly in Davos, with some saying we need to regulate further, and others concerned there is too much. Where do you stand?

A. The key point for me is that insurers are regulated appropriately. We’re fundamentally not banks and our core activities don’t pose a systemic risk to the financial system. The insurance industry has fared well through the recent financial turmoil. It’s right that capital should be tested against the actual economic risks in the business. We’re supportive of this approach - it’s what Solvency II is based on - but capital requirements over and above this would not be logical.

Q. What’s your view on the economic outlook, and what does that mean for Aviva?

A. Looking around the world we see a patchy multi-speed recovery. While a number of markets are experiencing difficult economic conditions, we're seeing evidence that some confidence has returned. Customers have been focused on paying down personal debt, but we’re starting to see people return to saving. They still have concerns about the future and that makes them more provident. The savings ratio is going up and we’re well positioned to serve customers’ changing needs.

Davos tweets ...
@nouriel 7.30pm
I am off to London after a week in Davos for the WEF. G20 is turning into G0 as countries disagree on major global policy issues

@davos 1.23pm
Davos 2011 media stats: 103k mentions up 102% on 2010. 45k Twitter mentions up 200%. Social media the multiplier #WEF ^am.

@Mlifestyle 9.24pm
Davos, is a get together for historically rich nations trying to figure out how to beg or steel from the nations that will be rich in future

@jdickerson 6.20pm
Before Twitter how did the people at Sundance keep up with what the people at Davos were doing?