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Aviva launches wide-ranging strategic review

Aviva executive deputy chairman John McFarlane has instigated a strategic review of its businesses as the insurer begins a worldwide search for a new group chief executive.

The review follows the departure of group chief executive Andrew Moss earlier this month.

McFarlane says: “We have begun the process of identifying a new chief executive for the group, internally and externally.  We expect this will take the remainder of this year, as we need to appoint the best person in the world available to us.

 “We will be undertaking a strategic review of all our businesses to ensure we are focused on the right segments; that we put in place plans to advance the performance and position of our businesses strategically, and exit sensibly those that are not part of our future.

“These will be reviewed by me and subsequently the Board in June, and we will provide an update to you in July.”

The firm has already overhauled its investment arm, announcing in January that 160 roles would be cut as the firm reduces its retail presence.

Aviva’s interim management statement for the first three months of the year shows sales in the provider’s UK life business rose 1 per cent, from £2.84bn in 2011 to £2.88bn in 2012.

Pensions sales increased 12 per cent, from £1.12bn last year to £1.26bn this year. Individual annuity sales fell slightly, from £645m in Q1, 2011 to £641m in Q1, 2012.

Protection sales increased 20 per cent during the same period, from £250m last year to £300m this year.

Bulk annuity sales dropped from £140m to £21m as the provider chose not to write business that did not meet its profitability criteria.


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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Here’s hoping the new Group CE will immediately start sacking the numerous clowns that already work for this pathetic excuse of a company.

  2. Yes but what was the outflow of funds under management?

  3. Alan Kendrick 17th May 2012 at 9:40 am

    This seems to be very selective information. Do companies have to keep records of complaints and publish them. I suspec that this may be the biggest growth area for Aviva.

  4. Aviva is easily remedied, if they took TCF seriously and looked on IFAs as their clients,they might just might start getting some business off us.

  5. If ever a company lost their way this is one of the shining examples of that. Their administration, investment performance, pricing and product quality is pathetic to say the least. The new chief executive needs a root and branch review of all their fund managers and start sacking most if not all of them for their poor against the rest of the market performances and starting again. They continue to take their annual management charges and deliver next to nothing in return.
    This is definitely and organisation where you’d be better off investing in a building society.
    A joke organisation that needs sorting big time.

  6. The anti-aviva crowd out this morning then.To anon if there is one company that takes TCF seriously it is aviva and led the way on that one for the last ten years before it was even known as TCF.When it does something wrong it does put it right, unlike others that could be mentioned. Noty the greatest investment performance or global strategy but very worrying for UK rank and file staff too that do their best for the IFA community. Reasonable and decent people & not as well paid as the advisers I meet. Stop having a go.

  7. @Andy Newman. I have always been sympathetic to NU/CU/Aviva etc, but the provider has over recent years made (covert) decisions to cut admin costs in a way which made deterioration of service inevitable. It even has legacy products with no-one remaining in the organisation that understands them. This admin restructuring was an Aviva decision and the criticism of its subsequent downgrade in the eyes of IFAs who have to pay the price of dealing with call centre staff who do not understand their products, is warranted. What remains of its original workforce is respectable yes, but that does not excuse Aviva dumping IFAs in the position they are now in.

  8. @Andy Newman. I think you are suffering from a classic case of corporate myopia. Any, even cursory, analysis of the culture at Aviva would reveal it to be entirely internally orientated – the very antithesis of a good TCF culture. Take their service standards as an example. Do they base these on client need, on competitor analysis, on creating genuine competitive advantage? No… they base them on their own internal capabilities. And when they fail to meet their standards what do they do – why, increase the length of time deemed to meet the service standard of course. Absolute joke!

    I respectfully suggest you look at what is happening elsewhere then go back and help make Aviva the company it once was.

  9. TO MODERATORS: please delete my double post at 12.14pm. Apologies

  10. Andy Newman | 17 May 2012 11:14 am

    Of course you’re right Aviva is an easy target because they promised so much and to my eyes have delivered very poorly over the past few years.
    My reasonable clients don’t actually enjoy reading how poorly Aviva are performing or fully understand what they’re paying for when their, the so called expert investment managers fail to deliver time and again. Don’t get me started on how poor Aviva’s admin is but if you work there you already know that. It pains me to think of Aviva in this way but hopefully whoever comes in will sort the company out sooner rather than later.

  11. This is the first of many such reviews.

    Whilst the article does not mention it the basis will surely be the impact of the RDR. the loss of 30% of supporting firms. The inability of companies to operate a simplified advice service.

    One of my colleagues is convinced that a some point the provider will tell the FSA what to do with their distribution design and will go back to incenitivising advisers. Let’s hope he’s right.

  12. And we continue to get new business figures. These are and always have been utterly meaningless. We want net change in book: then we’d know what was really going on.

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