Aviva PLC, a British multinational insurance company, promoted Maurice Tulloch, head of its international business as its new chief executive officer with immediate effect, after searching far and wide for a new CEO for the past five months. Sir Adrian Montague, who has been appointed as the interim CEO, will be replaced by Mr Tulloch.
Maurice Tulloch is a 26-year company veteran who joined the company in 1992. He was the head of Aviva's operations in France, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Turkey and India, and as the Chairman of Global General Insurance Maurice, he was also responsible for overseeing Aviva's general insurance businesses. He joined the board of Aviva plc as an executive director on June 20, 2017, had held various positions within the company as divisional Chief Executive Officer and other senior management positions.
The change in leadership comes after Aviva's former CEO, Mark Wilson, was pushed from the job in October 2018 after almost six years at the helm. During his time in the company, he transformed Aviva and boosted the financial performance by focusing on the core operations of the business. He built the strength of the group's balance sheet and boosted capital. However, his plan for the insurer had grounded to a halt, and the changes did not reflect on the prices which remained sluggish. He did not deliver returns according to shareholders' expectations, leading to his removal.
Sir Adrian Montague, while commenting on the appointment of Maurice Tulloch, said that Mr Tulloch is familiar with the strengths of the company and is aware of the areas demanding an improvement. He further added that Mr Tulloch would be an "outstanding chief executive" as he has a deep understanding of the insurance business.
The new chief executive's first task will be to appease impatient investors after years of slow growth and has promised to leave "no stone unturned". He further added that the group's operations are "complex" with too many layers of management", which is holding the company back. He said that a major shakeup was needed to improve performance and warned of a "lack of clear accountability". The new boss is planning a sweeping revamp of the business to cut unnecessary costs.
The choice of new boss surprised the market as Andy Briggs, who runs its UK business, its largest division, was expected to be picked by the management. Having been overlooked, he is now likely to leave the company.
The company's market capitalisation is roughly the same as what it was a decade ago, and even though one-third of the earnings come from international markets, the company is still seen as a low-growth British insurer.
Maurice Tulloch will be paid a basic yearly salary of £975,000 in the financial year 2019 and will be qualified for a pro-rated annual bonus of up to 200 per cent of basic remuneration.
The group recently announced its financial results for 2018, which saw its general and health insurance’s operating profit remain the same at £704 million and overall operating profit rising by just 2 per cent.
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