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Business Analysis & Features

Spotlight on: Andrew Moss, Chief executive of Aviva


What's he been up to?

He's just flogged the company's life insurance operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to MetLife as part of its strategy to focus on markets where it has strength and scale. It is "de-emphasising" its less-profitable, overseas operations.

So where is Aviva focusing now?

These 12 markets: the UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Canada, the US, China and India. Together, these 12 provide roughly 80 per cent of Aviva's profit from life and general insurance operations. But Europe is really where it's at, as far as Aviva is concerned.

Hm. Makes it sounds like Aviva is a bet on the eurozone?

Analysts say so, yes.

Tell me about Moss.

He came up with the One Aviva, Twice the Value strategy. It's a mere misfortune that the company's shares have since halved.

That must make him unpopular in the City.

He's not universally loved, that's fair to say. He's doing a difficult job at a complex organisation, but there is a feeling that he could be, ahem, a little more humble. And also that he needs to deliver, soon and in full.

Is he famous for anything else?

For leaving his wife, mostly. It was a celebrated case. No one could really believe that an insurance executive could get lucky twice.

That's unnecessarily mean. So Aviva is like the Prudential, right?

They are great rivals, but the Pru has staked its future on expanding in Asia, Aviva is going after the European market.

Did Aviva have a good financial crisis?

You'd have to say so. There were rumours it would follow the banks into disarray, but actually it has proved itself to be a paragon on solidity. It did not let its customers down when it mattered. Now if Moss can just win over the company's shareholders too....