Aviva merges UK insurance operations in new shake-up

Aviva chief Mark Wilson insisted the group was 'growing in the UK'. Picture: Contributed
Aviva chief Mark Wilson insisted the group was 'growing in the UK'. Picture: Contributed
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Life and pensions heavyweight Aviva is bringing together its UK life and general insurance businesses in a shake-up that also sees the departure of its European boss.

The group revealed that Andy Briggs will be promoted from head of its UK life operations to chief executive of the merged insurance division, covering life, general and health insurance. Briggs was formerly chief executive of Friends Life, which Aviva acquired in 2015.

The restructure will also see Maurice Tulloch – currently executive chairman of global general insurance – become chief executive of international insurance, heading up the group’s insurance operations in France, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey and India.

As a result of the changes, European boss David McMillan, who is also chairman of the global health insurance division, has chosen to leave the group.

READ MORE: Aviva hikes dividend as first-half profits rise

Aviva Investors, Aviva Asia and the firm’s digital businesses will remain unchanged under the overhaul, which comes as Aviva is making a digital push to offer a range of life and general insurance products online. It has also been pulling out of some overseas markets in recent years.

A spokesman for the company said there is “no news on jobs today” following the decision to merge its three insurance arms in the UK.

Aviva’s general insurance division has major call centres in Perth, Norwich and York, while the life business has key sites in Bristol, Norwich, Sheffield and York. The health insurance arm has call centres in Eastleigh and Sheffield.

Group chief executive Mark Wilson insisted the firm was “growing in the UK”.

He said: “Aviva is entering a new phase in its transformation. We have fixed the balance sheet, focused the business, and turned the operating performance around. The business is developing rapidly.

“We see significant opportunities to differentiate our business in the UK post-Brexit. We like the UK, we are investing in the UK, and we are growing in the UK.

“Our priorities are to continue to deepen our position in our home UK market with our 16 million customers, and to continue to grow in our core international markets to diversify and strengthen Aviva.”

Briggs’ previous roles have included acting as chief executive of Scottish Widows, heading Lloyds Banking Group’s life arm and leading Prudential’s retirement income unit.

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