By Simon Jessop
Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson has agreed to step down from his role after a sweeping restructuring of the British insurer during six years at the helm failed to translate into improved shareholder returns.
Mr Wilson will be replaced temporarily by chairman Adrian Montague while a permanent successor is appointed, a task the company said it aimed to complete within the next four months.
Mr Wilson will remain at the group until April to help with the transition. Aiding Mr Montague will be a “chairman’s committee” of Andy Briggs, CEO of UK Insurance; chief financial officer, Thomas Stoddard, and Maurice Tulloch, head of international insurance.
“There is much further to go in accelerating our strategic development and enhancing shareholder value. We have agreed with Mark this is the right time for a new leader to ensure Aviva delivers to its full potential,” Mr Montague said.
During his time at Aviva, Mr Wilson led the company’s £5.6bn (€6.4bn) takeover of Friends Life in 2016 in the sector’s biggest acquisition in more than a decade.
He also oversaw the company’s exit from a number of markets, as well as increasing operating profit and ramping up investment on technology. Despite the restructuring, though, Aviva’s share price has underwhelmed. It is down 8.2% in the year to date. Separately, Aviva said it continued to perform well and remains on track to deliver operating earnings per share growth of greater than 5% in 2018.