Aviva names new executives as business revamp continues

LONDON Thu Feb 7, 2013 11:02am GMT

People enter and exit the AVIVA headquarters building in Dublin October 19, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

People enter and exit the AVIVA headquarters building in Dublin October 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

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LONDON (Reuters) - British insurer Aviva (AV.L) announced a trio of new executive appointments on Thursday in the latest phase of a multi-pronged effort to revitalise its flagging fortunes.

Former Group Transformation Director David McMillan has been appointed CEO of Aviva Europe, taking charge of businesses stretching from Spain to Russia.

Former AIA Chief Administration Officer Nick Amin will replace McMillan as the executive in charge of leading Aviva's transformation strategy, while Jason Windsor has been promoted to the role of chief strategy and development officer.

Windsor will also assume responsibility for Aviva's 274 billion pound asset management arm, Aviva Investors.

"These changes are about ensuring we have the right people in the right jobs and that we have the best possible leadership team so Aviva can achieve its undoubted potential," Chief Executive Mark Wilson said in a statement.

Trevor Matthews, the head of Aviva's developed markets division, is also stepping down as part of the executive rejig.

Matthews will not stand for re-election to Aviva's board at its next shareholder meeting, though he will stay on for some months to ensure a smooth handover, the insurer said.

Australian-born Matthews, 60, is a well-known figure in the British insurance industry, having previously served as chief executive of Friends Provident and headed the British arm of Standard Life (SL.L).

Aviva is progressing with a root-and-branch shake up of its business after years of spiralling costs, disappointing share price performance and an investor revolt that led to the departure of former Chief Executive Andrew Moss in 2012.

Chairman John McFarlane sought to appease angry investors with a comprehensive strategic review last July, which called for the sale or closure of more than a dozen underperforming and non-core business units.

Aviva's shares have rebounded more than 25 percent since then, demonstrating confidence in the board's ability to manage a litany of new regulatory challenges faced by European insurers and compete more strongly with rivals Prudential (PRU.L) and Allianz (ALVG.DE).

Shares were up 1.56 percent at 358.4 pence by 1046 GMT, ahead of a 0.1 percent gain in the FTSE 100 .FTSE.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Myles Neligan; Editing by David Goodman)

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