Aviva to unite business under global brand

29 Apr 2008

Aviva announces today the final phase of the company's move to a worldwide brand, Aviva, as part of its strategy to grow and transform the business to compete on a global scale.

  • Aviva is to become the customer brand for the Aviva group worldwide
  • Norwich Union, Commercial Union Poland and Hibernian brands all to become Aviva
  • The change is part of the transformation set out in the "One Aviva, twice the value" vision
  • The move positions Aviva to compete even more effectively on a global scale

The company will complete the transition to a global brand over the next two years, with Norwich Union (UK), Commercial Union Poland and Hibernian (Ireland) becoming Aviva. 

In October 2007 group chief executive, Andrew Moss, set out his vision to maximise the company's full potential as a global group, summarised as "One Aviva, twice the value". It signalled a period of transformation for Aviva, bringing together relatively autonomous business units to create "One Aviva" with a clear growth agenda in an increasingly global and competitive marketplace.

The international savings, investments and insurance group already trades as Aviva in over 20 markets across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and has grown its international business significantly over time. Approximately 60% of group business is now generated outside the UK following a sizeable acquisition in the US in 2006 and the fast growth of its operations in Asia Pacific and Europe, adding to the strong and important UK home market business.

Andrew Moss said: "This is an exciting time for us as we build a world class business with strong growth potential. For Aviva to continue to thrive we have to compete effectively on the world stage alongside our international peers. Creating a brand that is known across the globe is an important step in being recognised as a worldwide force in financial services and an important milestone in delivering our ‘One Aviva, twice the value' vision.

"In today's world people are becoming more mobile and are targeted by international brands competing for their business across borders through the global media. For our customers, the Aviva name will be recognisable and will represent the same quality, financial strength and security wherever they do business with us. By integrating our operations more closely we can take best in breed products and services from around the world and bring innovation to new and existing customers.  

"By investing in a single name, we will amplify the global impact of our advertising and sponsorship spend. Being a well-known international brand also opens doors when entering new markets and establishing partnerships with other global players, as we already do in bancassurance.

"For our 57,000 staff, it's about bringing them together as one team under a common identity, and enabling us to attract and retain the best. As we've seen in our newer businesses in Asia Pacific and the US, people want to work for global companies that stand out on the world stage. I firmly believe that growing and thriving businesses generate the best career opportunities for their people over the long-term. 

"For our shareholders, a clear focus on delivering our ‘One Aviva, twice the value' vision will drive further dividend growth and value.

"Today Aviva can look to the future with confidence, largely because of its strong heritage with its roots in Norwich Union, Commercial Union and General Accident. These great companies succeeded because they took decisive action to develop their businesses and helped their customers to thrive and prosper. We will continue to build our global business upon this strong foundation.

"We will manage this process with care over the next two years involving all our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition and that we maximise the opportunities this change will bring."

In delivering his "One Aviva, twice the value" vision for the group, Andrew Moss has recently completed the recruitment of his global executive team, introducing a new regional approach to reflect the group's business interests across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva has also announced its plans to build a global integrated asset management capability - Aviva Investors - with significant growth potential across 15 countries. Ambitious growth and efficiency targets have been established for the group and the company is exploring the opportunity for shared services in areas such as IT and purchasing to maximise efficiency and bring best practice across its worldwide operations.

Aviva has recently announced its 2007 results, reporting a robust result in a challenging year, with strong growth in its international long-term savings businesses offsetting the exceptional UK weather result on its general insurance business. A dividend increase of 10% reflects the board's confidence in the future prospects for the business. 

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Enquiries:
Media
Hayley Stimpson, director of group media relations +44 (0)20 7662 7544
Vanessa Rhodes, senior group media relations manager +44 (0)20 7662 2482
James Murgatroyd/Conor McClafferty, Finsbury +44 (0)20 7251 3801

Analysts
Charles Barrows, investor relations director +44 (0)20 7662 8115
Jessie Burrows, head of investor relations +44 (0)20 7662 2111

Notes to editors:
About Aviva plc

  • Aviva is the international savings, investments and insurance group formed from the merger of Norwich Union and CGU in 2000. Following the merger the parent company, CGNU plc, operated under 40 major trading brands across the world until the Aviva brand was introduced in 2002. 
  • Aviva is the leading provider of life and pension products in Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2006. Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion and funds under management of £364 billion at 31 December 2007.
  • Approximately 60% of Aviva's business is now generated outside the UK (2000: 42%).
  • Aviva recently announced the establishment of Aviva Investors, which will be the new identity for its new globally integrated investment management operation across 15 countries. 
  • RAC is part of Norwich Union. As a specialist motoring services brand, the RAC name will not change. The Delta Lloyd brand (Netherlands) will also remain.
  • Aviva has announced a series of growth and efficiency targets and the intention to double total IFRS total earnings per share by 2012 at the latest.

History of Norwich Union

  • Norwich Union was formed in Norwich in 1797, first offering insurance against the risk of fire. In 1808 it expanded and established a life insurance company. In 1997 Norwich Union demutualised and floated as a public company on the London Stock Exchange, transforming itself into a FTSE 100 company.
  • In 2000, Norwich Union merged with CGU to create CGNU plc (renamed Aviva in 2002). The Norwich Union name was retained for the long-term savings and general insurance businesses in the UK.
  • Today Norwich Union remains a significant employer in Norwich, with 6,700 staff servicing its UK life and general insurance operations. It is the headquarters for the UK general insurance business. Aviva will continue to build its global business on this strong foundation with its associated benefits to the local community.
  • A full history of Norwich Union and other Aviva group companies can be accessed via the education centre on our website, www.aviva.com/

History of Hibernian

  • Hibernian was formed in Dublin in 1908, initially operating as a property insurer and extending its business in 1920 to offer all classes of general insurance.
  • In 1964 Hibernian merged with Commercial Union, with Commercial Union selling its majority shareholding in 1979.
  • In 1985 Hibernian entered the life insurance market by taking a 50% stake in Life Association of Ireland. The company also listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange.
  • In 1999 CGU acquired the Hibernian Group and combined the two brands in Ireland under the Hibernian name. The following year, 2000, saw the merger of Norwich Union and CGU to create CGNU plc (renamed Aviva plc in 2002).  
  • In 2006 Hibernian and Allied Irish Banks plc ("AIB") established a joint venture merging Hibernian Life and Pensions and AIB's Ark Life. 
  • Today Hibernian is the leading multi-line insurance company in the Irish market. Hibernian holds the number one position in the general insurance market and a top three position in the life and pensions market. Hibernian employs around 2,200 staff and is headquartered in Dublin. It has recently announced its intention to enter the health insurance market with the acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, of the majority shareholding in VIVAS Health.

History of Commercial Union Poland

  • Commercial Union Poland was formed in 1992 and was the first Aviva business unit in Central & Eastern Europe.
  • Today Commercial Union Poland offers long-term savings, general insurance and asset management services. It is the market leader in individual life insurance and pension funds.
  • Commercial Union Poland has 1,400 staff and over 3,000 tied insurance agents. It also distributes through independent agencies, brokers, bancassurance and IFAs.

Further information

  • The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media/ includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.