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Business Analysis & Features

Business week in review

In profit...

Insurance industry weeks don't get bigger than this, as MasterChef's Gregg Wallace would surely say if he swapped grub for financial services.

On Tuesday, former AIA boss Mark Wilson was named as Aviva's new chief executive. For months, insurance insiders and City hacks worked feverishly to track down the successor to Andrew Moss, who was forced out after a shareholder pay revolt earlier this year.

The 46-year-old Kiwi has a £5.4m pay deal, but not the "golden hello" received by other recent Aviva recruits.

Over at RSA, Martin Scicluna was revealed as chairman on Thursday, as first reported by our daily sister paper. The former UK chairman of Deloitte, replaces John Napier in January and will quit Lloyds Banking Group's board.

That same day, The Independent also broke the news that Edmund Truell, the founder of private equity house Duke Street, was the preferred bidder for the £100m-valued motor insurer Equity Red Star.

...at a loss

This year's "Black Tuesday" was not quite as devastating as that of 1929, but such was the bad news for two of Britain's business titans that the moniker seems well-deserved.

Sir John Bond quit as chairman of mining giant Xstrata, as shareholders voted down a £140m pot of retention bonuses for senior staff. Bond wanted the pot as part of the Swiss-based group's £56bn merger with commodities trader Glencore, arguing that the financial incentive was vital to keep Xstrata's best managers on board.

Mike Lynch, the millionaire founder of former FTSE 100 darling Autonomy, is in a fight to save his reputation after Hewlett Packard wrote off $8.8bn (£5.5bn) on its acquisition of the software firm for $10.3bn last year. Lynch said allegations of "serious accounting improprieties", lodged by the US giant, were "completely and utterly wrong".

To top things off, UBS fraudster Kweku Adoboli was jailed on Tuesday for his £1.4bn losses.