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Aviva CEO to depart

October 09, 2018

Mark Wilson has stepped down as CEO of Aviva after more than five years in the role.

Wilson will remain with the group until April 2019 and will assist with the planned and orderly transition.

Wilson was drafted into the UK insurer as CEO at the beginning of 2013 to spearhead the turnaround of the company. 

However, with the turnaround deemed successfully completed, the board and executive have declared that it is now “time for new leadership to take the group to the next phase of its development."

Aviva said that the search for a successor will commence immediately, with internal and external candidates being considered, and expects the process to be completed within the next four months.

In a statement, Aviva said that under Wilson’s leadership the carrier has been reshaped to significantly improve its financial performance and balance sheet strength.  

“During the turnaround phase, the group has been streamlined from 28 markets to 14, grown operating profit, and strengthened the balance sheet with a Solvency II surplus of £11bn as at 30 June 2018. The group has focused on areas of competitive strength and invested in new initiatives such as digital,” it said.

During the search for Wilson’s successor, Aviva’s non-executive chairman Sir Adrian Montague will assume executive responsibilities and lead a chairman’s committee of the three executive directors: Andy Briggs (CEO of UK insurance), Thomas Stoddard (CFO) and Maurice Tulloch (CEO of international insurance).

Following the appointment of a new CEO, Montague will revert to the role of non-executive chairman of Aviva.

Montague said: “The Board would like to thank Mark for what he has achieved in his six years at Aviva.  He leaves the group in a far stronger state than when he joined. Aviva is now financially strong and delivering solid earnings growth.

“There is much further to go in accelerating our strategic development and enhancing shareholder value. We have agreed with Mark this is the right time for a new leader to ensure Aviva delivers to its full potential. Our priority is to ensure, with our new chief executive, that we have the right strategy, focus, capabilities and leadership.”

Wilson added: “When I joined Aviva, the company was in poor health. Aviva is very different today. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve and now it’s time for me to move on to new things. It has been an honour to lead Aviva through this period of immense change.  I am happy I leave the company in a strong position from which it can thrive.”