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David Barral to exit as Aviva/Friends deal agreed

Aviva chief executive of the UK and Ireland Life business David Barral is to leave the insurer after shareholders backed Aviva’s takeover deal of Friends Life.

Shareholders of the two insurers backed the £5.6bn deal yesterday, which is set to create the largest insurance and savings business in the UK.

In an announcement this morning, Aviva said the deal is expected to complete on 13 April.

The insurer says it had been working with Barral to keep him in the business, but he has decided to leave instead. He will leave the company at the end of May.

Aviva announced in December Friends Life chief executive Andy Briggs will become chief executive of the enlarged UK & Ireland life business, subject to regulatory approval.

Aviva group chief executive Mark Wilson says: “I would like to thank David for his distinguished service to the group. David has had a successful career with Aviva spanning 16 years. Over the last three years, David has been a member of the group executive and has been a great partner during Aviva’s turnaround. We all wish him well as he pursues the next chapter.”

Aviva has also set out the new leadership structure for the enlarged group. Aviva group chief risk officer John Lister will become chief financial officer for the UK & Ireland life business, reporting to group chief financial officer Tom Stoddard.

Other senior appointments as part of the UK and Ireland restructure include:

  • Clive Bolton, MD Retirement
  • Andy Curran, MD Corporate and Business Solutions
  • Rob Barker, MD Strategic Partners and Protection
  • Stephen Shone, MD Aviva Plus
  • Jonathan Moss, combined capital planning
  • Rosie Harris, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
  • Kevin Moss, Chief Operating Officer
  • James Ward, Strategy Director
  • Ceri Connolly, Acting HR Director 
  • Kim Clarke, HR Integration Director 

At a group level, current chief financial officer of the UK & Ireland business will take on the same role at Aviva Investors. Current chief financial officer Patrick Neville is to leave the company.

John Van Der Wielen, executive chairman of Friends Provident International will leave the group on 1 July.

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