Aviva CEO Wilson Steps Down, Insurer Starts Search for Successor

(Bloomberg) -- Aviva PLC Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson has stepped down, though he will remain with the company until April to help manage the transition.

Key Insights
  • Company said it’s time for “new leadership” to take it to the next phase of development.
  • Wilson reshaped Aviva, which offers both life and general insurance, through a mix of asset sales and deals after he took over in 2013. His purchase of Friends Life Group for more than $8 billion in 2015 was the biggest deal in the U.K. insurance industry in 15 years and he invested in boosting the firm’s digital offering.
  • Wilson has served as CEO since January 2013
  • Search for a successor will commence immediately, with internal and external candidates being considered. Wilson will be placed on garden leave effective Oct. 9 for six months

Aviva CEO Wilson Steps Down, Insurer Starts Search for Successor

Market Reaction
  • Aviva shares have declined more than 8 percent this year. They have slumped 2.3 percent in the last three years as the Stoxx Europe 600 Financial Services has surged in the same period.

Digging Deeper

  • In March, the insurer said it will now seek earnings per share growth of more than 5 percent from 2018, after previously saying it would reach that level in 2019. Aviva raised its dividend by 18 percent at the time, the fourth successive year of double-digit growth.
  • In March, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority said it was reviewing Aviva Plc’s signal that it might cancel its preference shares to decide whether the company violated any regulations. FCA to Decide Whether to Probe Aviva Preference Share Treatment

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