- Why invest in Aviva
- Our strategy
- Results and reports
- Share Price
- Corporate governance
- Chairman's message
- Ordinary shareholders
- American depositary receipt holders
- Company information downloads
- Preference shareholders
- Institutional investors
- Credit ratings
- SEC filings
- Regulatory announcements
- Financial calendar
This guide is intended to help with everything you might need to know about Aviva and being an Aviva Shareholder. You may find it useful if you are considering investing in Aviva or are an existing shareholder.
- What is a share?
A share is a unit of ownership in a company. There are different types of shares — the most common, ordinary shares, typically carry voting rights for the shareholder, which can be exercised in corporate decisions.
For a more detailed definition, please see the Glossary.
- What is a PLC?
PLC stands for Public Limited Company. This means that a company’s shares are traded on an open market and can be bought by members of the public. Many countries have their own markets or stock exchanges. The larger, more established stock exchanges are in Western Europe, the USA and South-East Asia. Aviva is listed on the London and New York Exchanges.
- What is the difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder?
A stakeholder is a person, group of people or company that has an interest (financial or non-financial) in a particular company. A shareholder is a person, group of people or company that owns one or more shares in the company. A shareholder is therefore also a stakeholder, but a stakeholder is not necessarily a shareholder.
- Are there different types of shares?
Yes, there are two primary types of share: ordinary shares and preference shares.
Where ownership of a company is divided into a number of equal parts or "shares", ordinary shareholders are entitled to a distribution of the profits (known as dividends) and have the right to vote at company meetings. If the company is wound up, ordinary shareholders are entitled to any assets left after all other financial obligations have been met. These residual assets are known as the equity of the company, hence the term "equities" is sometimes used to describe ordinary shares. On winding up, Ordinary shares rank after debentures and preference shares.
Preference shares give holders a fixed dividend, which has prior claims over ordinary shares to dividends and to capital repayment if a company is wound up. Like ordinary shares, preference shares represent part-ownership in a company, although preference shareholders do not usually have voting rights at company meetings.
Aviva has ordinary shares nominally valued at 25 pence each and two types of cumulative irredeemable preference shares — 8 3/4% and 8 3/8% £1 shares.
- As a shareholder, what am I entitled to?
Companies have a responsibility to their shareholders to ensure that they communicate details of the company’s financial position and future plans. As shareholders are part-owners of the company, they have the right to vote at the company’s general meetings and have a say in some of the company’s corporate decisions. In return for holding shares, the company will usually distribute part of its profits to shareholders as dividends.
- How can I work out the value of my shares?
Using the Share price calculator you can calculate the value of your share holding both at the purchase date and at present.
- What does the share price mean?
The share price is the price at which shares in a company are currently being bought and sold. The share price quoted on this site shows the trading price with a 15 minute delay.
Share prices change throughout the day whilst the Stock Exchange is open and shares are being traded. Dealing on the London Stock Exchange begins at 7.30am and the market closes at 4.30pm.
Aviva has no direct influence over the price of its shares. The price reflects the share value based on the Company’s strategy and performance, as well as external factors such as the state of the national and global economies or political developments. If there is a strong market and a company is seen to be performing well, demand for its shares will increase, which in turn increases the share price.
Remember — the price of Aviva shares, as well as any other share, can go down as well as up and on selling your holding you could receive less than your original investment.
The workings of the market are closely regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
- What is the FTSE 100?
The FTSE 100 is the benchmark index for share prices in London. The “Footsie” is based on the price of the 100 largest companies by market capitalisation quoted on the Stock Exchange. This represents about 70% of market turnover. Introduced in 1984 to fill the need for a constantly updated index, it is calculated once a minute during trading hours.
- What is the role of the board of directors?
The board of directors is the decision-making body legally responsible for overseeing the management of a company. In a listed company, like Aviva, the directors are elected by the shareholders. Executive directors are usually employees responsible for managing the day-to-day business. Non-executive directors are independent outsiders (not employees) and normally carry out their duties on a part-time basis. Read our directors’ biographies.
- What is an annual report?
An annual report is a document issued once a year by a company to report its financial position. Annual reports normally include the company’s accounts, a statement of assets, liabilities and recent earnings, a description of business operations, and a comment on the outlook for the future. Companies are required to make available an annual report to all shareholders.
Aviva also produces a form 20-F as part of the Company’s listing obligations under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The form 20-F is filed with the SEC to disclose comprehensive business and financial information about the Company.
To view the latest annual report and accounts and from 20-F visit Aviva’s reports.
- How can I receive a copy of the Company documents?
As a continuation of Aviva’s concern to limit the environmental impact of its business and to manage its costs, the Company provides all shareholder documentation via its website, except where shareholders have requested to receive a hard copy of such documents.
If you have not requested to receive hard copy shareholder communications we will write to you to advise you when such documents are available to view online. If you would prefer to receive this notification by email, you can elect to receive shareholder communications electronically by visiting the electronic communications page.
If however, you would prefer to receive hard copy documentation, such as the full Report and Accounts and documentation regarding the Annual General Meeting, please contact our Registrar, Computershare or visit the electronic communications page to change your mailing preference online.
- What is a registrar?
A registrar is a person or organisation that keeps a record of individual shareholders and information such as dividend payment dates. Registrars are increasingly offering online services to meet the demands of companies and shareholders for efficient communication.
Aviva have appointed Computershare as the Company's Registrar. Computershare have replaced Equiniti (effective 4 July 2011). For further information on the change of Registrar please visit Shareholder updates.
- What does Aviva do?
Aviva is one of the world’s largest insurance groups and the largest insurance services provider in the UK.
We are one of the leading providers of life and pension products in Europe and are actively growing our long-term savings businesses in Asia and the USA.
Aviva has approximately 36,600 employees serving around 43 million customers in the UK, continental Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Our main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance*.
* Typically includes motor, household, creditor, health, commercial motor, commercial property and commercial liability insurance.
- What are Aviva’s values?
The Aviva brand is about building better tomorrows — helping our 43 million customers worldwide to make the most of their lives.
By building the Aviva brand, we are making a significant contribution to our commitment to the creation of “One Aviva” — a business that looks to the future and creates better ways to understand and meet people’s needs.
In everything that we do, we are mindful of our brand values. These values, listed below, inform not only what we do but also the manner in which we do it.
Being progressive is having a vision of the future, encouraging innovation and improvement, and championing continuous learning. It is about leading the industry by listening and responding to customers and keeping ahead of the competition.
Integrity is behaving in a way consistent with professional and ethical standards. It is being open, honest and keeping commitments, taking personal responsibility for what we say and do. It is about earning trust and respect through honesty and fairness.
Performance-driven is having clear goals and achieving them by everyone working towards them in an efficient manner.
Teamwork is the lifeblood of Aviva. It means commitment to a common vision and objectives, depending on one another, pulling together and sharing knowledge and learning. It is creating a sense of community and belonging in how we operate as a business. It means taking pride in Aviva’s achievements.
- What is Aviva’s strategy?
Our purpose is to bring prosperity and peace of mind to our customers by realising our vision: “One Aviva”.
By working together across our businesses, we will optimise our performance in the global marketplace and maximise the value we can generate for all our stakeholders.
For more information on Aviva’s business, see Why invest in Aviva.
- Who owns Aviva?
Aviva is owned by a combination of private individuals, banks and nominee companies, pension fund managers and insurance companies and other corporate bodies.
For more information on who owns Aviva, view our shareholder profile.
- When was Aviva formed?
Aviva’s many constituent companies have been present around the world for over 300 years. Throughout this long history numerous mergers and acquisitions have taken place to form the company as it exists today. As a result, Aviva and its constituent companies have played an important role in the evolution of the insurance industry.
In Aviva’s recent history, Commercial Union, which formed as a public limited company in the 1990s merged with General Accident plc in 1998 to form a new company - CGU plc.
Norwich Union was a mutual that floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1997. CGU plc merged with Norwich Union plc in 2000 to form CGNU plc, which changed its name to Aviva in 2002.
- Where can I find information about Aviva's board of directors?
- What is Aviva’s position on corporate responsibility?
Our ambition is simple: we want to be the world’s most trusted savings, investment and insurance provider. This means that we must always work to the highest standards of business conduct. This sits at the heart of our approach to corporate responsibility (CR). For more information on Aviva’s CR activities, please refer to our latest CR report.
- Which types of shares does Aviva have?
As well as ordinary shares Aviva has two different types of Preference Shares, 8 3/8% and 8 3/4%. In addition there are two types of Preference Shares in General Accident. View more information about shares in General Accident plc.
- What is an AGM?
AGM stands for Annual General Meeting, which the Company is required to hold each year. Every year the Company’s board of directors invites its shareholders to attend the meeting. Details of the latest AGM can be found on the AGM page.
- How can I find out about the AGM?
Shareholders are automatically notified about the AGM in March or April each year. Depending on the elections made, shareholders will either receive a hard copy of the Notice of Meeting or will be notified either by post or by e-mail when the document is available for viewing on the Company’s website. For more information on previous AGMs, view the AGM page.
- What is discussed at an AGM?
At the AGM there is a presentation on the Company’s performance over the previous financial year and shareholders are given the opportunity to vote on key issues such as approving the annual report and accounts, the final dividend per share and the re-election of directors. Shareholders are also given the opportunity to ask the directors questions relating to the business of the meeting.
- What happened at the last AGM?
Documents from the last AGM can be viewed, along with other information about the meeting on the AGM page.
- How can I buy or sell shares?
If you have a share certificate, you can buy or sell shares, using any stockbroker, bank or building society that offers a share dealing service in the UK, or in your country of residence if outside the UK. For further information on the share dealing facility provided by our Registrar, Computershare, please visit the share dealing page.
If you hold your shares in the Aviva Share Account, you are required to use the Aviva Share Account Share Dealing Facility in accordance with the Aviva Share Account terms and conditions (PDF 294.1 KB) .
- What is Capital Gains Tax?
Capital Gains Tax is the tax paid on any profit or gain made by selling a chargeable asset (eg shares) for more than it was bought.
- Can Aviva plc offer me any advice on Capital Gains Tax?
Aviva plc is unable to advise individuals on matters of Capital Gains Tax. Please consult an independent financial adviser.
- How do I change my personal details on my shareholding?
Change of address
You can change your address online by visiting the electronic communications page.
To login you will need your new Computershare Shareholder Reference Number and your post code. You can request to receive your Computershare Shareholder Reference Number by telephoning Computershare, who will send this to you in the post.
Change of name
You will need to send Computershare an original of your marriage certificate or your change of name deed (which will be returned to you) before your name can be changed on the share register.
If you also hold an insurance policy with the Company, you will need to contact the Company separately to change your policy name/address.
For all written communications with Computershare, please use the contact details, quoting your shareholder reference number.
- How can I confirm the number of shares that I hold?
You can view your Aviva shareholdings online by visiting the electronic communications page.
To login you will need your new Computershare Shareholder Reference Number and your post code.
Alternatively, you can contact our Registrar, Computershare, to request confirmation of your holding in Aviva.
- How can I transfer ownership of my shares to someone else?
For certificated holdings please contact our Registrar, Computershare to obtain a personalised stock transfer form, which you will need to complete and return with your share certificate.
- What do I do if I lose my share certificate or dividend cheque?
You may obtain a replacement share certificate or dividend cheque by telephoning our Registrar, Computershare. Alternatively, visit the electronic communications page to use the online dividend cheque replacement service. Please note for dividends issued in November 2010 and May 2011 you will need to telephone Computershare directly.
After receiving a replacement share certificate, you may wish to transfer your shares into the Aviva Share Account.
If your shares are held on your behalf in the Aviva Share Account and you have lost your Statement of Shareholding then you can obtain a replacement by telephoning our Registrar, Computershare. There will be a fee for this service. A new statement will be issued automatically every year prior to the AGM.
You can also view your current shareholding by visiting the electronic communications page. To login you will need your new Computershare Shareholder Reference Number and your post code. You can request to receive your Computershare Shareholder Reference Number by telephoning Computershare, who will send this to you in the post.
- How do I register the death of a shareholder?
If the shares were held solely in the name of the deceased, the Registrarwill require a copy of the death certificate and either probate or letters of administration. The name of the legal personal representative will then be added to the register. The shares can then be sold by the personal representative, or a stock transfer form can be submitted so that the shares are registered in the name of the deceased’s beneficiary.
If the value of the estate in the deceased’s sole name is below certain limits the death can be registered using the Registrar’s small estates procedure. Details of the current limits and the procedure involved can be obtained from our Registrar, Computershare.
If the shares were held jointly, the Registrar will remove the deceased’s name from the Register on receipt of a copy of the death certificate. The shares will then be registered in the name(s) of the surviving holder(s) and the relevant share certificates will be amended to reflect this.
For further information or advice you should contact our Registrar, Computershare.
- I’m worried about my name appearing on a public register. How can I avoid this?
You may wish to transfer your certificated shares into the Aviva Share Account. This is a method of holding your shares in a nominee account which means that your name does not appear on a public register.
Read more details on the Aviva Share Account page.
- What is the Aviva Share Account?
The Aviva Share Account is a convenient method of holding your shares in a nominee account without the need to have a share certificate or having your name appear on a public register. There is no charge to have your shares put into the Aviva Share Account and you are able to withdraw them at any time, and request a share certificate instead (there will be a charge on withdrawal from the Aviva Share Account, please visit www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq for details).
Read more details on the Aviva Share Account page.
- What are electronic communications?
- Access details of your individual Aviva shareholding quickly and securely online;
- Change your details online, including your dividend mandate, postal address, e-mail address and mailing preference;
- Receive important shareholder communications by e-mail;
- Arrange payment of any dividends to be made directly to your bank account.
- What are the advantages of electronic communications?
Receiving your communications electronically offers advantages in terms of speed and convenience. It is a secure method of obtaining your shareholder documentation and allows the Company to communicate in a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way.
- Why should I sign up for electronic communications?
Access to electronic communications allows you to receive shareholder documentation quickly and without the risk of important documents being lost in the post. You will also be able to view your Aviva shareholding and dividend history, and update changes in your address whenever you wish.
Electronic communications also means that you can help us to reduce our printing, paper and postage costs, and in turn the environmental impacts of these.
Start using electronic communications.
- What is the best way to keep in touch with Aviva?
It is important that you are able to keep up to date with Aviva in a way that’s most practical for you. We now offer a number of methods for receiving Aviva news, via your desktop or mobile phone. Find out more about ways to receive Aviva news.
If you need to contact us about your shareholding you should contact our Registrar, Computershare.
- How can I continue to receive hard copies of company documents?
If you would like to receive hard copies of Aviva's shareholder communications, you can contact our Registrar, Computershare or change your mailing preference online by visiting the electronic communications page.
This section provides general information about dividends. For more specific information about Aviva’s dividends, please go to the Dividend information page.
- What is a dividend?
A dividend is an amount based on a company’s profits paid out to shareholders for each share they hold. Dividends are usually paid as cash.
- How frequently are dividends paid?
Aviva generally pays any dividend twice a year following the announcement of the Company’s full year and half year results. Aviva normally pays a final dividend in May and an interim dividend in November on its ordinary shares.
- How are dividends paid?
Dividends are usually paid in cash.
To ensure you receive your cash dividend into your bank account on the dividend payment date, and to avoid the delays caused by having to take your cheque to the bank, you will need to provide our Registrar, Computershare a dividend mandate instruction either by telephone (for holdings with a value of £10,000 or less), or online by visiting the electronic communications page.
Lost dividend cheques can be re-issued. You may obtain a replacement cheque simply by contacting our Registrar, Computershare, or by visiting the electronic communications page to access the online dividend cheque replacement service.
There may be a charge for this service, details can be found at www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq.
- How is the dividend amount decided?
After a set of results have been announced the board of directors review the company’s performance and financial position, and determine whether or not a dividend should be declared.
- What is the “final dividend”?
The dividend paid by a company to shareholders at the end of the financial year.
- What is a scrip dividend?
The Aviva Scrip Dividend Scheme allows shareholders to receive their dividend in the form of new shares instead of cash, allowing the Company to retain the cash for reinvestment in the business.
Aviva is not currently offering the Aviva Scrip Dividend Scheme
- Do I have to pay tax on my dividends?
Aviva plc dividends are announced and paid net of tax. Income tax at the basic rate of 10% is deducted from the gross dividend before the net dividend is paid to shareholders. This is referred to as your Tax Credit and is detailed on your tax voucher. If you need further information in respect of your individual circumstances, you should speak to an authorised financial advisor.