Aviva braces for US sell-off and a new chief executive
Friday 09 November 2012
Decision time is looming for Aviva's chairman John McFarlane, who yesterday admitted his company is too sluggish and bureaucratic.
The tough-talking Scot warned investors to brace themselves for a heavy loss on its United States arm, which is expected to be sold for about £1bn over the next few weeks, half of what Aviva paid for it in 2006.
The company is understood to have received approaches from Apollo, Harbinger Capital and Guggenheim Partners.
Mr McFarlane said Aviva was also in the final stages of appointing a successor to Andrew Moss, the chief executive who was ousted this year following an embarrassing pay revolt at the company's AGM.
The decision is expected imminently with finance director Pat Regan the bookies' favourite.
"Individuals, internal and external, have gone through rigorous external testing," Mr McFarlane said.
"The non-execs must interview the candidates and they are still taking place this week. I wouldn't look for an imminent decision, but I am confident we will get the right person to head the organisation."
Mr McFarlane said he planned to cut the amount of red tape at the company.
"Culturally the organisation has been more used to collective decision making and has moved more slowly as a result, with more bureaucracy than desirable," he added.
Aviva shares rose 1.8p to 330.3p yesterday despite the company reporting a 5 per cent fall in sales during the first nine months of the year to £28.9bn. Despite this, its combined ratio remained below 100 per cent, meaning Aviva is taking in more in premiums than it pays out in claims.
Mr McFarlane is overseeing a strategic overhaul, which will see the company cut staff, sell 16 businesses and seek "significant improvement" in 27 others to reverse the company's poor share performance.
He has vowed to turn Aviva into a "leaner, more agile beast" after years of underperformance under Mr Moss' stewardship.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...