Share Capital

Issued Share Capital

Aviva’s issued share capital is made up of:

  • ordinary shares of 25p each,
  • 8¾% cumulative irredeemable preference shares of £1 each
  • 8⅜% cumulative irredeemable preference shares of £1 each

Aviva’s shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange.

In the US, Aviva’s securities are traded in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADSs), for which Citibank Shareholder Services is the depositary bank. Each ADS represents two ordinary shares. ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Additionally, the following shares are in issue for General Accident plc:

  • 8⅞% cumulative irredeemable preference shares of £1 each
  • 7⅞% cumulative irredeemable preference shares of £1 each

Questions on Aviva share types

American Depositary Receipt

What is an ADR?

An American Depositary Receipt (ADR) is a negotiable instrument issued by a depositary bank that evidences ownership of shares in a corporation organised outside the US. Each ADR represents a specific number of underlying ordinary shares in a non-US company on deposit with a custodian in the applicable home market. ADRs are quoted and traded in US dollars on a US securities exchange and dividends are paid to investors in US dollars.

ADRs were specifically designed to facilitate the purchase, holding and sale of non-US securities by US investors, and to provide a corporate finance vehicle for non-US companies. Aviva has a sponsored ADR facility administered by Citibank. Upon listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Aviva's ADRs trade just like any other US security. Aviva is traded under the ticker symbol "AV".

What is an ADS?

An Aviva American Depositary Share (ADS) is a US dollar-denominated form of share ownership in Aviva. It represents ordinary shares on deposit in the United Kingdom (UK). An ADS gives registered ADS holders the right to receive dividends in US dollars, attend Aviva shareholder meetings, and the right to vote on important matters. An ADR is the certificate representing ownership of the ADSs.

Who can hold ADRs?

ADRs can be purchased by investors or institutions who wish to purchase shares in a foreign company. Investors can either purchase the foreign shares in the local market through a broker in that country or request their brokers to buy the ADRs in the US. The broker may either purchase existing ADRs or, if they are not available, arrange for their broker to purchase shares in the local market of which Aviva’s depositary bank, Citibank, will issue in ADR form.

Preference shares

What are cumulative irredeemable preference shares?

As well as ordinary shares, Aviva has two different types of preference shares, 8 34% and 8 38%. The shares have a nominal value of £1. The fixed dividend is cumulative in nature, ie if the fixed dividend is not paid in one year, it accrues and is payable as a debt to the shareholder until the dividend is brought up to date. The shares cannot be redeemed without approval by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

Where can I find the current value of the shares?

Aviva plc and General Accident plc preference shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and you can find their values on the Daily Official List of the Stock Exchange.

How do they differ from ordinary shares?

Your preference shares do not carry any voting rights and you are not normally entitled to attend the Company’s general meetings, although you may attend and vote on any class meetings that may affect your rights as a preference shareholder. However, on a winding up, preference shares carry a preferential right of return of capital ahead of the ordinary shares.


DateDescriptionWhat happened to your shares?Contact
June 1997 Norwich Union demutualisation Certain policyholders were entitled to shares in the newly listed company. Entitlements to unclaimed benefits lapsed in 2006. Computershare
May 1998 Commercial Union and General Accident merger General Accident shareholders received 1,233 CGU shares for every 1,000 General Accident shares held.  Commercial Union certificates remain valid. Computershare
June 2000 Norwich Union and CGU merger Norwich Union shareholders received 48 CGNU shares for every 100 Norwich Union shares held. CGU certificates remain valid. Computershare
July 2001 Friends Provident Life Office demutualisation Certain policyholders were entitled to shares in the newly listed company.  Entitlements to unclaimed benefits lapsed in 2013. Computershare
July 2002 CGNU name changed to Aviva No impact on existing share certificates. Computershare
July 2009 Demerger of Friends Provident and F&C Asset Management 1 share in F&C was issued for every 10 Friends Provident shares held. No impact on Friends Provident shares. Equiniti on 0371 384 2460
November 2009 Friends Provident acquired by Resolution Friends Provident shares either cashed out at 79.4 pence per share or converted to Resolution shares. Computershare
May 2014 Resolution name changed to Friends Life Group Limited No impact on existing share certificates. Computershare
April 2015 Friends Life Group Limited acquired by Aviva plc Friends Life shares were replaced with 0.74 Aviva shares for each Friends Life share. Computershare