The Business On... John McFarlane, chairman-designate, Aviva
Thursday 16 June 2011
The insurer that used to be called Norwich Union?
That's the one. Mr McFarlane, it was announced yesterday, will join Aviva's board as a non-executive director in September, become deputy chairman in January and then succeed the current chairman, Lord Sharman, next July.
So Aviva is planning ahead?
As it should be – ensuring succession at the top goes smoothly is crucial to avoid disruption at a big company such as Aviva. Actually, this recruitment exercise has been going on for some time and Mr McFarlane wasn't even the first choice. Aviva had wanted Sir Richard Broadbent, but he's agreed to chair Tesco instead.
Is it settling for second best?
Don't worry, Mr McFarlane comes with impeccable credentials. He spent more than 20 years working in senior positions at Citigroup and Standard Chartered, but really made his name with a 10-year stint as chief executive of Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ). He's a non-executive director at Royal Bank of Scotland too, and at Westfield, the Australian shopping centres group.
Is he from down under?
He has dual British and Australian citizenship these days, but he's a Scotsman by birth – he's from Dumfries, in fact.
A Scottish banker, then?
One of the most distinguished, even if his appointment at RBS – after its rescue – raised a few eyebrows in the local banking community, many of whom weren't familiar with the way he had tripled the size of ANZ.
Any other strings to his bow?
Strings is the right word. Capital Radio once asked him to join its board after learning of his prowess on the guitar. He was a member of a Scottish rock band called Sekrets during the Sixties.
So Aviva is lucky to have him?
Yes, though not everyone may ultimately see it that way. There are already rumours that Mr McFarlane might seek to shake up the insurer's senior management, amid concerns in some parts of the City that its performance has not been up to scratch.
The legendary human rights activist, OBE, started her 70 year career working with Holocaust survivors. Colin Firth & Emma Thompson pay tribute
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...
£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...