Wilson appointed CEO at Aviva
22 November 2012
By Asia Asset Management
Aviva plc has announced that Mark Wilson will join the board of the company on December 1 and become chief executive officer effective January 1, 2013.
John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva, who has been acting in an executive capacity pending the appointment of a CEO, will become non-executive chairman on January 1.
Mr. Wilson was chief executive officer and president of AIA Group, one of the world’s leading insurance companies. During his tenure at AIA, between 2006 and 2010, he transformed AIA with the company emerging as a strong and more valuable independent business. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, he generated significant shareholder value and prepared the company for IPO, increasing its value to US$36 billion at the time of listing. AIA today has a market capitalisation in excess of $46 billion.
Mr. Wilson has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry across life and general insurance as well as asset management in both mature and emerging markets. Since leaving AIA, he has been involved in private equity with Blackstone and other private equity firms.
John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva, said: “I am delighted we have secured Mark for Aviva. His leadership credentials are incredibly strong. He has an outstanding track record of leading a major insurer, of transforming its performance and culture, of implementing a growth agenda and of producing significant shareholder value, all of which are essential for Aviva’s success going forward.
“Mark has operated in both developed and emerging markets. At AIA, Mark faced similar challenges to Aviva today. He navigated the company through the global financial crisis, narrowed the focus of the company, sold non-core businesses, turned round non-performing segments, and reduced risks and costs. From that foundation he implemented a successful revenue growth strategy.
“His appointment follows a comprehensive global search process which produced a shortlist of exceptional internal and external candidates.
“The decision to appoint Mark was unanimous and I am confident he will not only execute the initial agenda currently in progress, but also steer the group forward successfully over the medium term.
“Mark inherits a professional management team at Aviva which has over the past few months generated new momentum. I would particularly like to take this opportunity of thanking Pat Regan and the other members of the team for this achievement and the support that they have given me.”
Mr Wilson said: “It is a privilege to lead Aviva, an organisation with such a rich legacy and pedigree and many talented and dedicated people. It is acknowledged that over recent years the company has not performed to its potential. The chairman, John McFarlane, and the board have articulated the first stage of the strategy that addresses the immediate issues and I look forward to continue working closely with the board on these priorities. The company will initially be judged on the execution of that strategy and I intend to pursue the execution with rigour and focus.
“My first task will be to listen to Aviva’s stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, staff and regulators and ascertain the key concerns and opportunities that face the business. There is substantial work to do. I am looking forward to taking up this appointment and excited about the future prospects for Aviva.”
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