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Mark Wilson steps down as Chief Executive Officer of Aviva plc

Aviva plc (“Aviva” or “the group”) announces Mark Wilson and the Board have agreed that Mark is stepping down today as Chief Executive Officer of the group.

Mark will remain with the group until April 2019 and will assist with the planned and orderly transition.

Mark was brought in to deliver the turnaround of Aviva.  The Board and Mark believe that given the turnaround has been successfully completed, it is time for new leadership to take the group to the next phase of its development.  

The search for a successor will commence immediately, with internal and external candidates being considered. The process is expected to be completed within the next four months. 

As confirmed in its recent half year results in August 2018, Aviva continues to perform well and remains on track to deliver its target of operating earnings per share growth of greater than 5% in 2018 and to achieve a dividend payout ratio of 55-60% of operating earnings per share by 2020. Aviva continues to operate above a Solvency II ratio of 180%, the top end of its working range, as at 30 September 2018.

During the transition period the Board of Aviva has asked Sir Adrian Montague, currently non-executive Chairman of Aviva, to assume executive responsibilities and lead a Chairman’s Committee of the three executive directors: Andy Briggs (CEO, UK Insurance), Thomas Stoddard (Chief Financial Officer) and Maurice Tulloch (CEO, International Insurance). After the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer, Sir Adrian Montague will revert to the role of non-executive Chairman of Aviva. There will be no changes in the terms and conditions of any Directors. These interim arrangements are subject to regulatory approval.

Aviva will continue to benefit from a strong and committed management team which will deliver the current initiatives, drive the overall performance of the group, and deliver its financial targets. 

Mark Wilson became Chief Executive Officer of Aviva in January 2013.  Under his leadership, Aviva has been reshaped to significantly improve its financial performance and balance sheet strength.  During the turnaround phase, the group has been streamlined from 28 markets to 14, grown operating profit, and strengthened the balance sheet with a Solvency II surplus of £11bn as at 30 June 2018. The group has focused on areas of competitive strength and invested in new initiatives such as digital.

Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman of Aviva, said:

“The Board would like to thank Mark for what he has achieved in his six years at Aviva.  He leaves the group in a far stronger state than when he joined. Aviva is now financially strong and delivering solid earnings growth.

“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. Our priority is to ensure, with our new chief executive, that we have the right strategy, focus, capabilities and leadership.  I am confident we will deliver long term growth for the benefit of our customers, our people and our shareholders.”

Mark Wilson said:

“When I joined Aviva, the company was in poor health. Aviva is very different today. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve and now it’s time for me to move on to new things. It has been an honour to lead Aviva through this period of immense change.  I am happy I leave the company in a strong position from which it can thrive. I would like to thank all those within and outside Aviva who have supported the successful turnaround and I wish everyone in Aviva the very best for the future.”

This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for making this announcement on behalf of the Group is Kirstine Cooper (Group Company Secretary).

Ends    

Enquiries:

Media

Nigel Prideaux                                                                   
+44 (0)7800 694425

Andrew Reid                                                                      
+44 (0)7800 694276

Sarah Swailes                                                                    
+44 (0)7800 694859

Investors and analysts

Chris Esson                                                                        
+44 (0)20 7662 8115

Diane Michelberger                                                         
+44 (0)20 7662 0911

As required by section 430(2B) of the Companies Act 2006, details of the remuneration payments made to or to be made to Mark Wilson are set out below.

Salary and benefits

Mark Wilson will be placed on garden leave for six months with effect from 9 October 2018.  During this period he will continue to receive his salary and contractual benefits.

At the end of this period, the Company will make a payment in lieu of notice of six months’ basic salary, pension entitlement and contractual benefits, in monthly instalments, over the remainder of Mark Wilson’s contractual 12 month notice period. Mark Wilson’s employment will therefore terminate on 9 April 2019 (the “Termination Date”). Mark Wilson will be required to mitigate his loss during the period following the Termination Date until 9 October 2019, by seeking alternative employment or engagement. 

Other terms agreed with Mark Wilson, which were the subject of careful consideration by the Remuneration Committee and are in line with the Company’s Remuneration Policy which was approved by shareholders at the 2018 AGM, are as follows:

Bonus

Mark Wilson will be entitled to a pro-rated bonus in respect of the 2018 financial year to reflect the portion of the year prior to the commencement of garden leave. The bonus will be determined on the normal timetable. No bonus will be payable to Mark Wilson in relation to the Company’s 2019 financial year.

Share awards

Mark Wilson’s unvested awards under the Aviva plc Long-Term Incentive Plan (“LTIP”) ceased to be capable of vesting on 9 October 2018. No further LTIP awards will be made.

Mark Wilson’s outstanding deferred share awards under the Aviva plc Annual Bonus Plan (“ABP”), which reflect past performance, will continue and will vest on the normal vesting date. All awards will remain subject to malus and clawback provisions.

Mark Wilson’s outstanding options under Save-As-You-Earn will lapse on the Termination Date and he will be entitled to return of his savings.

The table below sets out the relevant number of shares previously awarded to Mark Wilson under the Company’s share plans and the treatment described above. 

Type of Award Outstanding Awards Treatment
2016 ABP (relating to the 2015 financial year) 245,168 Due to vest in March 2019
2017 ABP (relating to the 2016 financial year) 231,082 Due to vest in March 2020
2018 ABP (relating to the 2017 financial year) 257,290 Due to vest March 2021
2016 LTIP (in respect of performance period 2016-2018) 606,185 All outstanding awards lapse
2017 LTIP (in respect of performance period 2017-2019) 571,358 All outstanding awards lapse
2018 LTIP (in respect of performance period 2018-2020) 615,854 All outstanding awards lapse

Other

Mark Wilson will be entitled to a capped contribution of up to £10,000 (excluding VAT) towards legal fees incurred in connection with his departure.

Further information

The relevant remuneration details relating to Mark Wilson, including information on the vesting of any outstanding awards detailed above and the dividend equivalents payable on them, will be included in the Directors' Remuneration Report in the Annual Report and Accounts.

Executive Chairman

Following discussions with the Chairman, no changes will be made to his existing terms and conditions during the transition period. 

Notes to editors

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £350 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £490 billion.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.6 billion in benefits and claims in 2017.
  • By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
  • The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our image library, research reports and our news release archive.
  • For an introduction to what we do and how we do it, please click here www.aviva.com/about-us
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