Aviva chief executive’s annual pay tops €7m

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson’s take-home pay more than doubled to £5.67m (€7.2m) last year, after the purchase of rival Friends Life, the British insurer’s annual report showed yesterday.

Aviva chief executive’s annual pay tops €7m

Aviva completed the £5.6bn acquisition last April, creating a market leader in life insurance. It posted a 20% rise in operating profit for 2015.

Mr Wilson received a bonus of £1.78m or 182% of his basic salary, compared with a maximum possible 200% payout, due to “strong financial performance” and progress on strategic objectives last year, Aviva said.

The CEO, who joined Aviva at the beginning of 2013, also received payments for the first time from a long-term incentive plan.

Mr Wilson received £2.56m from the plan, based on a three-year performance period to the end of 2015. Aviva’s share price rose by 38% over the period.

Rival insurer Legal & General’s chief executive Nigel Wilson earned £4.7m in 2015 and RSA boss Stephen Hester earned £2.47m.

Aviva’s annual report doesn’t break out pay for its Irish-based executives, but the group’s operations here had a good year in 2015, with operating profits rising by just under 40% to €85m, marking its best performance in Ireland for five years.

Aviva Ireland recently announced the sale of its health insurance division to Irish Life.

The general insurance arm saw a €48m jump in gross written premium and a 6% rise in customer numbers.

Combined operating ratio, which is Aviva Ireland’s key general insurance profit measure, grew by two percentage points to 94.6%, despite a rise in claims costs.

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