Aviva chief's love affair with married director revealed

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of the UK's biggest insurer faced embarrassment today as details of his affair with a member of staff emerged.

The relationship between Aviva boss Andrew Moss, 51, and human resources director Deirdre Moffat, the wife of the group's European HR director, was revealed by The Times.

Aviva chairman Lord Sharman said there had been no breach of company rules, and told the newspaper he was "completely satisfied" that it did not impact on his role as chief executive.

Ms Moffat, 45, and Mr Moss, who received £2.2m in pay and bonuses last year, have separated from their spouses and are now a couple.

Ms Moffat - who is now known as Deirdre Galvin - reported directly to the chief executive while on secondment to his office on a company project.

She resigned 10 days ago by mutual agreement to avoid a conflict of interest, although her husband Andrew Moffat is still at the firm in the same role.

The details of the affair emerged on the eve of a major presentation to investors on plans to restructure the company's European operations.

The firm wants to make a "quantum leap" on the continent, boosting its presence in Western Europe and taking advantage of emerging Eastern European markets.

Earlier this month the firm said it should generate proceeds of £1.1 billion through the sale of a 42% stake in Dutch subsidiary Delta Lloyd.

This would be Europe's biggest stock market listing of the year so far and is expected to free up capital as well as providing Aviva with greater flexibility to explore growth opportunities.

The company's operating profits rose to £1.68bn from £1.51bn in the six months to June 30 after margins on life and pensions business improved and its general insurance arm exceeded targets for the period.